• COVID-19
  • Vaccine

Final Doses of COVID-19 Vaccines Administered to Renown Physicians

January 08, 2021

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Renown Health is working with the Washoe County Health District (WCHD), the state, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to distribute the initially available, limited supplies of COVID-19 vaccines. Because there may be limited supply, the vaccine continues to be distributed in a tiered approach. Today, the light at the end of the tunnel shined brighter than ever as many of Renown’s Tier 1A recipients received their second and final doses. 

Please see B-roll from today's event and photos, B-roll and interviews from the first event here.

An important pandemic milestone

“The health and safety of our staff is our top priority, and we remain steadfast in our determination to fight the good fight for our community. Administration of the final doses of the vaccine is an important pandemic milestone as it brings an overwhelming sense of hope and relief to all of us at Renown,” said Tony Slonim, MD, DrPH, President & CEO of Renown Health. “The healthcare heroes vaccinated today have been batting this pandemic on the front lines and working around the clock for the past 11 months to keep our community safe. It’s reassuring knowing they have an added, strong layer of protection, so they can focus their efforts on putting an end to this long and difficult battle.” 

Today, Renown healthcare workers received the second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine which received emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration last month. Administered 21 days after the initial dose, this dose marks the final dose of the vaccination series. Many Renown employees have also received the Moderna vaccine, of which second doses will be administered after 28 days. 

The intricacies of vaccine administration

Renown’s COVID-19 vaccination process includes pre-scheduling physicians and employees through the Epic MyChart electronic medical record used by Renown. Employees are masked, and in their personal vehicles, as they drive through the vaccination site at Hometown Health. Each physician and healthcare worker provides their verification, identification, documentation and consent. They then extend their upper arm to receive the vaccination. Following the receipt of the vaccination, they have a 15-minute observation period to assure they do not experience any immediate side effects. 

Similar to receiving the first dose, these Tier 1A healthcare employees were encouraged to schedule their vaccination after their completed work schedule to have time to rest. As with all vaccinations, there is a potential for injection site reactions (redness, swelling and pain) as well as fever, fatigue, headache, chills, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle pain and/or joint pain. Fever is not an infrequent side effect, especially on the second dose, so these vaccinated employees will self-monitor their temperatures, as they cannot work at Renown with a fever.

Renown invited media to help commemorate this triumphant vaccination event. Present during today’s event were- Dr. Bret Frey, representing the Medical Staff and Emergency Medicine physicians at Renown; Dr. Jacob Keeperman, Medical Director, Renown Regional Transfer and Operations Center representing physicians in Renown’s Intensive Care Unit; and Holly Irwin, a Clinical Respiratory Therapist.

Vaccine one more tool to help fight pandemic “The best protection from COVID-19 will be a combination of getting a COVID-19 vaccine, wearing a mask, staying at least 6 feet away from others, avoiding crowds, and washing your hands often,” says Amy McCombs, MSN, RN, CCRN, CNML, vice president of Quality for Acute Services for Renown, and the champion of the vaccination effort for Renown. “No one tool alone will stop this pandemic, it will take a combination of all of us using all of these efforts to fight the spread of this virus. We are getting closer to widespread vaccine development every day; however, until then, everyone must remain vigilant, take precautions and follow public health orders.” 

“This vaccination is a game-changer in terms of improving the health of our community,” said Paul Sierzenski, MD, MSHQS, Chief Medical Officer, Acute Services, Renown Health. "Given the demands of this COVID-19 pandemic, we are pleased to be able to provide second doses of this vaccination to help in the fight. We continue to follow CDC recommendations for a tiered approach to vaccine distribution. Our goal is that by spring, all Renown physicians; employees and their family members; and all Hometown Health members and Renown patients interested in receiving the vaccine will have an opportunity to be vaccinated.” 

The COVID-19 vaccine is not mandatory for all Renown employees, but is strongly advised. Renown is covering all costs of the vaccine, and it is being offered free of charge to employees.

Register for Renown Epic MyChart now.

To streamline the notification, consent, scheduling and reminder process for vaccine distribution, as well as to post to Web IZ Nevada’s Statewide Immunization Information System, all who are interested in receiving the vaccine through Renown will need to enroll and obtain an Epic MyChart account

Stay Up-to-date on COVID-19

Renown Health is prepared to safely screen, diagnose and care for patients with respiratory illness, including COVID-19. To stay up-to-date on communications regarding Renown’s distribution of the COVID19 vaccine, FAQs and the scientific evidence behind the vaccine, visit https://covid.renown.org/

Join the Renown team

Renown Health remains committed to hiring key roles in our organization to support the health and well-being of our community. To join the Renown family to Fight the Good Fight, apply on line at https://careers.renown.org/ 

Support the Renown team

Renown Health, a charitable, not-for-profit organization, is so grateful for our community’s support during these unprecedented times. To donate to Renown patients or providers, visit https://www.renown.org/donations-covid-19/.


About Renown Health

Renown Health is a locally governed and locally owned, not-for-profit integrated healthcare network serving northern Nevada, Lake Tahoe and northeast California. Renown is one of the region’s largest private employers with a workforce of more than 7,000. It comprises three acute care hospitals, a rehabilitation hospital, the area’s most comprehensive medical group and urgent care network, and the region’s largest and only locally owned not-for-profit insurance company, Hometown Health. Renown has a long tradition and commitment to continually improve the care and the health of our community. For more information, visit renown.org

About the Washoe County Health District

The Washoe County Health District has jurisdiction over all public health matters in Reno, Sparks, and Washoe County through the policy-making Washoe County District Board of Health. The District consists of five divisions: Administrative Health Services, Air Quality Management, Community and Clinical Health Services, Environmental Health Services and Epidemiology & Public Health Preparedness. More info can be found here.


Media Contact

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