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Madison’s Meriter hospital to receive first doses of COVID-19 vaccine

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MADISON (WKOW) -- UnityPoint Health – Meriter is scheduled to receive

its first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine today, according to a press release from the hospital sent Monday morning.

The first vaccinations of the hospital's frontline staff who are treating patients with COVDI-19 are expected to happen this afternoon.

“This is the light at the end of the tunnel that many across the world have been waiting for,” said UnityPoint Health Chief Clinical Officer, David Williams, MD. “We are optimistic that scores of lives will be saved thanks to medical science.”

Meriter is the last of the Madison hospitals to get its first shipment of the vaccine. Both UW Health and SSM Health St. Mary's got their shipments last week.

The press release said that the hospital offered the vaccine to staff with the greatest exposure to COVID-19.

None of the Madison hospitals are mandating that their staff get vaccinated, instead leaving it up to the individual employees to chose if they want to get the shots.

The vaccine given to Meriter staff, and the other Madison hospitals, is one developed by Pfizer. It was the first COVID-19 vaccine to recieve FDA emergency use authorization and requires two shots given four weeks apart.