Indiana Regional Medical Center is awaiting its share of the coronavirus vaccine.
The Pennsylvania Department of Health has projected the hospital will receive 975 doses, IRMC Chief Growth Officer Mark Richards said on Sunday.
“It will arrive this week but the specific day has not been confirmed yet,” he said.
But Richards said he does not know yet whether the hospital’s supply will be enough for 975 people. Anyone taking the Pfizer vaccine must have two doses three weeks apart for it to be fully effective.
Distribution to IRMC and other hospitals followed approval Thursday by a U.S. Food and Drug Administration panel of distribution for emergency use of a vaccine made by Pfizer Inc. and its German partner, BioNTech SE.
The mRNA, or Messenger Ribonucleic Acid vaccine, BNT162b2 was authorized for those 16 and older. Pfizer began shipping out its vaccine on Sunday.
“First priority is health care workers, emergency medical service workers and patients in (long-term care) facilities,” Richards said.
There are caveats that go along with distribution of the vaccine.
The company is warning that the Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine should not be given to people with a known history of a severe allergic reaction, such as anaphylaxis, to any component of its vaccine.
The company said clinical studies showed adverse reactions during trials of the vaccine included pain at the injection site in five out of six participants; fatigue in three out of five participants; headache in more than half; muscle pain, joint pain, fever, and injection site swelling and redness in significant numbers.
Nausea, malaise and lymphadenopathy or swelling of the lymph nodes also was reported in some cases.
Pfizer also said there was insufficient data about the possible effects of the vaccine on pregnant women or infants fed breast milk from participants.
The Pennsylvania Department of Health said, similar to the flu vaccine, there is a percentage of effectiveness with the COVID-19 vaccine.
DOH officials said individuals will still need to properly wear masks, routinely wash their hands, use hand sanitizer, social distance, avoid large gatherings and follow public health guidance provided.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.