Karmanos Cancer Institute and McLaren Health Care receive first COVID-19 Vaccines to Protect Health Care Professionals

DETROIT, Dec. 17, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- As a part of McLaren Health Care (McLaren), the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute began the process of immunizing its health care workers against COVID-19 today.

"Our health care heroes have been courageously battling each wave of this virus for nearly a year," said Justin Klamerus, M.D., MMM, president, Karmanos Cancer Hospital and Network. "Now it is time we take the final fight to COVID-19."

U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently authorized Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use, which began being distributed to hospitals last weekend. McLaren is expecting to receive additional quantities over the next few weeks, including from other vaccine producers.

"This vaccine is a tremendously important resource for all of us as we work to end the coronavirus pandemic," said Jeffrey Zonder, M.D., leader of the Multiple Myeloma Multidisciplinary Team at Karmanos Cancer Institute, who will be among the initial health care workers to receive the vaccine. "We are turning a corner in the fight against COVID and it is a privilege to be among the first to be vaccinated. Doing so protects not just me, but my patients, my colleagues and my family as well."

McLaren Health Care hospitals, outpatient clinics and other subsidiaries surveyed their team members, medical staffs and contract workers' interest in receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. Many respondents across the McLaren system indicated they are willing to receive the COVID-19 now or in the future.

McLaren then used that data and information from the vaccine producers to create a plan to immunize its health care workers. It is expected to take several weeks to immunize the health care workers affiliated with McLaren who indicated they want the vaccine due to the logistics of administering the shot, minimizing the number of caregivers who may experience side effects at one time, and the availability of doses from the pharmaceutical manufacturers. McLaren Health Care and Walgreens have also launched an innovative partnership where certain McLaren team members authorized to receive the vaccine in the initial distribution will be able to receive their vaccination at a nearby Walgreens store. The collaboration will expedite the immunization of McLaren team members and enhance safety by minimizing the number of team members required to go inside the hospital to receive their vaccinations.

"Walgreens is very proud to collaborate with McLaren on this historic milestone to begin administering Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine to the true heroes who are on the frontlines of battling COVID-19. This is an incredibly important step in an unprecedented effort to allow our nation to emerge from this pandemic," said John Standley, president, Walgreens.

About the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute
Karmanos Cancer Institute is a leader in transformative cancer care, research and education through courage, commitment and compassion. Our vision is a world free of cancer. As part of McLaren Health Care, Karmanos is the largest provider of cancer care and research in the state of Michigan. For more than 75 years, our administrative and research headquarters, along with our premier specialty cancer hospital, have been located in downtown Detroit. Our 15 network sites throughout the state deliver market-leading cancer care and clinical trials conveniently to the communities where many of our patients live. Karmanos is recognized by the National Cancer Institute as one of the best cancer centers in the nation. Our academic partnership with the Wayne State University School of Medicine provides the framework for cancer research and education – defining new standards of care and improving survivorship. For more information, call 1-800-KARMANOS (800-527-6266) or visit www.karmanos.org. Follow Karmanos on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.

About McLaren Health Care
McLaren Health Care, headquartered in Grand Blanc, Michigan, is a $6 billion, fully integrated health care delivery system committed to quality, evidence-based patient care and cost efficiency. The McLaren system includes 15 hospitals in Michigan and Ohio, ambulatory surgery centers, imaging centers, a 490-member employed primary and specialty care physician network, commercial and Medicaid HMOs covering more than 588,000 lives in Michigan and Indiana, home health, infusion and hospice providers, pharmacy services, a clinical laboratory network and a wholly owned medical malpractice insurance company. McLaren operates Michigan's largest network of cancer centers and providers, anchored by the Karmanos Cancer Institute, one of only 51 National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer centers in the U.S. McLaren has 26,000 full-, part-time and contracted employees and more than 90,000 network providers throughout Michigan, Indiana and Ohio. Learn more at www.mclaren.org.

About Walgreens
Walgreens (walgreens.com), one of the nation's largest drugstore chains, is included in the Retail Pharmacy USA Division of Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc., the first global pharmacy-led, health and wellbeing enterprise. Approximately 8 million customers interact with Walgreens in stores and online each day, using the most convenient, multichannel access to consumer goods and services and trusted, cost-effective pharmacy, health and wellness services and advice. As of June 28, 2018, Walgreens operates approximately 9,800 drugstores with a presence in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, along with its omnichannel business, Walgreens.com. Approximately 400 Walgreens stores offer Healthcare Clinic or other provider retail clinic services.

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SOURCE Karmanos Cancer Institute

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