First COVID-19 vaccines arrive at Methodist Dallas Medical Center
The Methodist Dallas Medical Center was the first north Texas hospital to receive doses of the COVID-19 vaccine on Monday when a UPS truck delivered the shipment around 8 a.m. on Monday.
When the shipment arrived, Methodist Health System CEO Jim Scoggin said the two primary goals of the health system during the pandemic were to keep patients and staff safe.
“To be able to offer this vaccine now as further protection for both of them is a truly monumental day for the Methodist, a monumental day in North Texas, a monumental day in Texas and of course the world,” said Scoggin.
The first vaccines would be administered within 30 to 45 minutes of the shipment being unloaded, according to Scoggin. The first eight people to receive the vaccine include a doctor, nurses, and non-clinical staff. Later in the day, the vaccine will be given to other health care workers and workers who will interact closely with patients who have been infected with the virus.
Scoggin said within the next 36 hours the Methodist expects to vaccinate between 500 and 600 employees.
“I’ve been in healthcare for a long time. I’ve seen a lot of important events, ”he said. “I cannot imagine a more important event than today. I couldn’t think of a more special Christmas present for the communities we serve and the co-workers we serve across North Texas. “
Delivering 5,850 vaccines is roughly half what it takes Methodist to vaccinate all of its workers. Pam Stoyanoff, president and chief operating officer, said the hospital system expects to complete these vaccinations before Christmas.
“2020 was an incredibly difficult year for the whole world, and 2021 has to get better,” said Stoyanoff. “This vaccine will help.”
Paul Pieroni, a 55-year-old UPS driver, learned a few days ago that on Monday he would have the historic job of delivering the first COVID-19 vaccines in Dallas-Fort Worth. He said he lost a relative of the disease weeks earlier.
Pieroni, who has worked as a driver for 28 years, said it was humbling to get the vaccines on the final leg of their Methodist journey. Just before 8 a.m., he put the brown UPS truck in the Methodist loading dock when the photographers’ camera shutters clicked on the cold morning.
“It touched us all,” he said before driving out of the hospital. “It affects us all. Let the healing begin. “
Good morning from the Methodist Dallas Medical Center. We are here to see the first COVID-19 vaccine broadcasts in D-FW. UPS truck just pulled in with the delivery. pic.twitter.com/o83eHgMulh
– Dana Branham @ (@danabranham) December 14, 2020
Three other Texas locations should receive the vaccine on Monday, including Wellness 360 in San Antonio, UT Health’s Austin Dell Medical School, and Houston MD Anderson Cancer Center, according to the Department of State Health Services.
UT Southwestern Medical Center and Parkland Memorial Hospital are among 19 locations in Texas expected to ship Tuesday.
The vaccine, which was distributed in Texas and across the country this week and developed by Pfizer and BioNTech, received emergency approval from the Food and Drug Administration late Friday.