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SSM Health expanding vaccinations to unaffiliated groups

SSM Health employee recieves 2nd dose of Pfizer vaccine
SSM Health employee recieves 2nd dose of Pfizer vaccine(SSM Health)
Published: Jan. 6, 2021 at 11:55 AM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - SSM Health is now expanding efforts to vaccinate front-line health care workers beyond its own employees.

As of Wednesday, more than 7,000 SSM employees have received the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, some got their second dose this week.

Now SSM is reaching out to unaffiliated health care workers who fall under the Department of Health’s  Group 1A and still need to get vaccinated.

That includes EMS personnel, dental offices, nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

“Small, independent practices that employ health care workers who fit the definition, but they’re not part of a larger health system that has a vaccination center. So they can come to our vaccination center for the vaccine,” says Mo Kharbat, SSM Health Wisconsin’s Regional VP of Pharmacy.

SSM has already reached out to 40 organizations, offering the vaccine to about 1,000 people to start. This week SSM vaccinated EMS providers in Madison, Monroe and Fond Du Lac.

“If it’s a small number, less than 10 health care workers, we will work with them on a walk-in basis. But if it’s a larger group we would like to schedule them to make sure that they get the vaccine in a timely way,” says Kharbat.

SSM is also working directly with health departments in Rock, Sauk and Green Counties to coordinate these vaccinations in the weeks to come.

NBC15 also asked SSM if any of their employees who received their second dose of Pfizer’s vaccine have reported any side effects.

“What Pzfizer reported in the studies is that most side effects were seen after the second dose. Which is expected, because that’s when the immune response is at it’s maximum level. We started giving the 2nd dose only this week. No reports came to me yet of any major side effects that say for example would prevent them from coming back to work the next day,” says Kharbat.

Kharbat says side effects could include high temperature, chills, headache or discomfort at the injection site.

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