By Brian Maass

DENVER (CBS4) – Denver Health has told employees it is expecting to receive its first COVID-19 vaccine shipment in mid-December with its health care workers getting the shots first. The information was contained in a bulletin sent to hospital employees this week and obtained by CBS4.

According to the internal communication, “Once one or both of these vaccines are approved, Denver Health expects to receive the first shipments of vaccine in mid-December. We will have very limited supplies at first.”

The three page memo goes on to say the specifics of the vaccine distribution process are being developed, but “healthcare workers will be initially prioritized for vaccination.”

The hospital reports that vaccines produced by Pfizer and Moderna are closest to being available and each requires two doses.

Pfizer reported out of over 43,000 participants, 162 participants who received a placebo got sick with COVID-19 and only eight participants who received the actual vaccine got sick with COVID-19.

“There were no serious adverse events reported in about 75,000 participants in the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine studies,” reported Denver Health. “Safety of these vaccines will be evaluated on an ongoing basis. There will be a special vaccine monitoring system put into place just for the COVID  vaccines called V-Safe that will be an app on a phone to report any issues with the vaccine in real time.”

(credit: CBS)

The bulletin says Denver Health is one of nine sites around the country that will be participating in ongoing safety surveillance for COVID vaccines through the CDC’s Vaccine Safety Datalink.

Pfizer and Moderna will be submitting study data to the FDA for Emergency Use Authorization that will allow the vaccines to be used.

Denver Health said the vaccine will be administered by appointment only to help manage inventory, and distribution specifics are still being developed. Denver Health workers who receive the vaccine will not have to pay out of pocket as the U.S. government has purchased the doses.

The hospital said it does not plan to make the vaccine mandatory for employees, but workers will be encouraged to receive the vaccination “to protect our families, fellow staff, and patients and to increase the likelihood we stay healthy to care for our patients.”

This story will be updated as more information is received.

Brian Maass