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Gritman begins vaccinating staff for COVID-19

(Pictured above: Shelley Frei, RN, administers a COVID-19 vaccine to nurse Nina Benichou. Susie Christopher, RN, is shown to the right.)

Gritman Medical Center announced Friday that it has started administering its first doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to its staff.

The first dose was given to Nina Benichou, a Registered Nurse in Gritman’s Critical Care and Medical-Surgical Unit, during a ceremony to commemorate the first COVID-19 vaccination in the community. Benichou has worked at Gritman for eight years.

Learn more about COVID-19 vaccines

Gritman received a total of 350 doses of the vaccine in this first phase of distribution. All doses will be administered to staff over the next several days. The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is given in two doses, three weeks apart.

“Since the beginning of the pandemic, everyone in the Gritman family, both here in the hospital and in our network of primary care clinics, have been true heroes in the fight to protect our patients and community from COVID-19,” Gritman Director of Community Relations Peter Mundt said.

Gritman has been in close coordination for many weeks with regional and state public health officials regarding plans for the transportation, storage and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines as they are approved for use by the federal government and made available in the region by public health authorities.

The first phase of vaccine distribution in Idaho is limited to critical medical personnel, first responders and others responsible for the delivery of emergency and medical care. As vaccines become more widely available in the weeks and months to come, they will begin being offered to priority populations and eventually the general public as recommended by state and federal public health officials.

Gritman recommends following the guidelines and evidence-based recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to limit the spread of COVID-19. Recommendations include: wear a facemask; wash and sanitize your hands frequently; keep a distance of at least 6 feet from those not from your immediate household; limit gather with others who are not in your immediate household; and limit indoor gatherings.