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See the latest news and updates about COVID-19 and its impact on the Charlotte region, the Carolinas and beyond.

Atrium Reports 'No Severe Reactions' To Vaccine As More Pfizer Doses Arrive In Charlotte Region

CaroMont Health

Atrium Health has so far seen “no severe reactions” to the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in its employees who have been vaccinated, Dr. Lewis McCurdy, an infectious disease physician at Atrium, told reporters on Thursday. Two health care workers in Alaska reportedly experienced allergic reactions to the shot and had to get emergency treatment after being vaccinated on Wednesday. One of the cases was described as severe.

In Charlotte, McCurdy said Atrium employees have reported sore arms, fatigue and muscle aches after being vaccinated but “nothing significant.”

“We are watching people,” McCurdy said. “There are obviously requirements around watching people for a certain period of time after the immunization to make sure they’re safe.”

Caitlin Shannon, a pharmacist at Atrium who is trained to administer Pfizer’s vaccine, said that after getting the shot, employees are asked to wait in an observation area “for anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes” to be monitored for possible side effects. The hospital system has also said it will stagger which employees are vaccinated on which dates to keep team members from potentially experiencing side effects at the same time.

Atrium began vaccinating its employees Monday after receiving one of the first shipments in North Carolina. As of Thursday, it had 12,675 doses, according to Kevin Isaacs, the assistant vice president of the hospital system’s Division of Pharmacy Services. The hospital system has not said how many employees have been vaccinated to date.

Two other hospital systems in the Charlotte region received Pfizer vaccine shipments Thursday. Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center in Charlotte administered its first shot to pulmonologist Dr. Samuel Dartey-Hayford. CaroMont Health in Gastonia received approximately 1,950 doses and a spokesperson said it plans to start vaccinating employees Friday.

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