University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics first hospital in the state to receive COVID-19 vaccine

Iowa’s first doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine were given to UI Hospitals and Clinics employees on Monday.


Joseph Cress/Iowa City Press-Citizen

A vial of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is drawn into a syringe, Monday, Dec. 14, 2020, on the 12th floor of the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital in Iowa City, Iowa.

Rylee Wilson, News Editor

University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics employees began receiving the COVID-19 Pfizer vaccine on Monday, which was studied in clinical trials at the hospital. 

According to a press release from UIHC, around 50 employees were vaccinated Monday, most of them front-line workers who deal directly with COVID-19 patients. UIHC is the first hospital in the state to receive shipments of the vaccine. 

Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine was approved for use by the Food and Drug Administration on Dec. 11. The Pfizer vaccine requires two doses given three to four weeks apart to be effective, the release said.

This is an historic moment to change the course of the pandemic and we are proud of our role as leaders in this process,” UIHC CEO Suresh Gunasekaran said in the release. 

Executive Dean of the Carver College of Medicine Patricia Winokur, who was the principal investigator for the clinical trial of the vaccine at UIHC, said in the release that she was confident in the vaccine’s safety. 

“Having coordinated our part of this clinical trial and seen first-hand how our participants have fared, I can assure you that all the data tells us that this is a highly effective and safe vaccine,” Winokur said. “When my turn comes to receive the vaccine, I will absolutely be rolling up my sleeve to get it.” 

As previously reported by The Daily Iowan, Johnson County Public Health plans to distribute the vaccine in three phases. Phase one will be for essential workers and high-risk groups, phase two for critical populations such as college students and staff, minorities, and incarcerated people. Phase three will be open to the entire community. 

UI Health Care is charged first with vaccinating its employees and looks forward to more information on when the vaccines will become available to more of the general public,” the release stated.