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CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Hospital – San Marcos Prepares for Health Care Workers to Receive COVID Vaccine December 11, 2020

San Marcos, TX – CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Hospital – San Marcos is preparing for its Associates and medical to staff to participate in internal distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine in the coming days and weeks.

“The use of vaccines has been a key part of combatting and even eradicating certain diseases for generations, and we believe the COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective,” said Thomas McKinney, MHA, FACHE, President, CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Hospital – San Marcos. “Though there is still a way to go, this process is a positive step in the right direction for relief during this pandemic.”

In an effort to streamline any potential logistical challenges, leaders at CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Hospital – San Marcos are actively working with sister hospitals in San Antonio to coordinate several distribution sites to ensure that its Associates and medical staff are part of this important first phase of COVID vaccine distribution.

“We understand how critical it is for our front line health care workers to receive the vaccine as they continue their commitment to care for patients in San Marcos and surrounding communities,” said Micah Johnson, MHA, MSN, RN, Chief Nursing Officer, CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Hospital – San Marcos. “Our leaders have been and will continue to include our region in planning efforts for this and future phases of COVID vaccine distribution.”

CHRISTUS Health has a well-established process in place for reviewing the safety and efficacy of new drugs that is being utilized to evaluate any COVID-19 vaccines that receive emergency use authorization (EUA) by the FDA.

“Our COVID-19 Taskforce is evaluating and planning for the storage and distribution of a vaccine across our ministries, including at CHRISTUS ministries across South-Central Texas, while following the guidance of clinical experts and the frameworks distributed by the Catholic Health Association, Centers for Disease Control, and State Health agencies,” said David Benner PharmD, MS, MHA, FACHE, Vice President, Clinical Ancillary Services for the Division of Clinical Excellence at CHRISTUS Health.

The COVID-19 vaccine will be available to all health care workers at CHRISTUS facilities in South-Central Texas, but is not mandatory. Similar to many vaccines, the COVID-19 vaccine will be given in two doses: an initial injection and then a booster shot, normally 21-28 days later (depending on the vaccine administered). Research from the pharmaceutical company and CHRISTUS Health’s COVID-19 Task Force indicates minor side effects similar to the flu shot, such as low-grade fever and redness or slight pain at the injection site are possible.

“CHRISTUS Health has a plan, and we are working through it to ensure that our facilities, Associates and medical staff are prepared to receive, store and distribute COVID-19 vaccines as soon as they become available,” said Sam Bagchi, M.D., Executive Vice President and Chief Clinical Officer, CHRISTUS Health. “We are confident in our ability to participate in the vaccine distribution and our ability to offer vaccination to all CHRISTUS health care workers who wish to receive it.”