CHICAGO (WLS) -- As hospitals wait for their shipment of Pfizer's vaccine, doctors are reminding everyone the pandemic is far from over.
"We have been working with the team all across Amita Health and all the hospital to prepare to receive shipments and administer vaccines. That includes the refrigeration, clinics, and getting the staff ready to receive the vaccine," said Doctor David Bordo, the Chief Medical Officer at Amita Ressurection Medical Center.
The team over at Amita Health Ressurection Medical Center is rolling out their vaccination plans.
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"We are starting with the COVID-19 units, emergency departments, the ICU, and the additional staff members across all disciplines. From the environmental service, doctors, respiratory therapists, and nurses will be first," he added.
Dr. Bordo said he is patiently waiting his turn.
"When my slot comes up, I will be happy to get the vaccine," he said. "This is different than other vaccines in that you are not receiving the virus. Your body is receiving instructions on how to handle the virus and that is a big difference."
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Dr. Bordo expects all 18 Amita Health hospitals in the state to receive shipments of the Pfizer vaccine, although the vaccination process could take months.
"The Pfizer vaccine is set up so that when you get the first dose then your second dose is three weeks later - 21 days apart," he said. "You might get some benefit from the first dose but it is true that the full benefit is after the second dose and then it still takes some time. That is why this is going to take months just for health care workers then moving to essential workers and then the public."
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He continues to stress the importance of social distancing and masks for the foreseeable future.
"Although it is great to think about this being a light at the end of the tunnel, everyone needs to remain almost if nothing has changed because really nothing will. The virus will still be present, it is still contagious and there will still be new cases. You will still be contagious even when a-symptomatic," Dr. Bordo said.
Experts are still studying if the vaccine can prevent the spread of COVID-19. Doctors continue to urge that's even more of a reason to mask up and social distance.