Meadville, PA - Since September 22, 2021, when the Food and Drug Administration
(FDA) approved the third "booster" dose for qualifying individuals,
Meadville Medical Center (MMC) has once again been hosting Points of Distribution
(POD) for individuals who are 65 years of age and older, who are immunocompromised,
and frontline or at-risk workers. More information can be found on the
FDA's website, www.fda.gov, for who qualifies as immunocompromised,
frontline or at-risk workers. MMC's next POD will be on October 8
from 8:00 am to 3:00 pm. Individuals can register at www.mmchs.org or
by calling 814-336-1800.
Valerie Waid, MMC's Chief Nursing Officer, explained, "I cannot
understand why anyone would not get the Pfizer vaccine. Our nurses and
physicians have been working tirelessly in stressful conditions for well
over a year, and they are simply exhausted. The national nursing shortage
has existed for years prior to the pandemic and continues to further exacerbate
the situation in nursing and other essential clinical jobs."
Since August 1, COVID-19 has had the following impacts on MMC:
• Visits to MMCs Emergency Department from patients with COVID-19
has increased by 207%,
• Positive COVID-19 test results have increased by more than 468%,
• In September, 25% of all COVID-19 admissions were under the age of 50,
• The average length of stay in the hospital has increased by 61%,
• The ICU is routinely at 90% to 100% capacity, and
• Total Emergency Department visits are surging, averaging well over
700 visits per week.
"Our challenge is threefold. First, the news of a booster shot is
very welcomed, but if people still are not receiving their 1st and 2nd
doses, I worry about how bad this will continue to get in our community.
Second, we are seeing a surge in patients with COVID-19 who are extremely
ill, patients who delayed their healthcare due to the pandemic, and other
respiratory illnesses not seen last year as the public was masking. Lastly,
MMC is not alone in facing high volumes with staffing challenges. Everyone
else in the region is dealing with the same issues. This means that patients
who need to be transferred to tertiary hospitals for services not provided
at MMC are experiencing unprecedented delays or are unable to be transferred
in some cases, as there is just no capacity left in the system in western
PA., explained MMC's Chief Medical Officer, Kevin Kraeling, DO.
Philip Pandolph, MMC's Chief Executive Officer, stated, "In order
to navigate through these very challenging times, we need our community's
help. Locally we are seeing significant spread of the very volatile Delta
variant and are seeing the devastating consequences on a daily basis.
I am asking for your assistance. You can do your part by staying home
when you're sick, get tested and quarantine if advised. Please get
the vaccine as soon as possible if you have not already!"
To be evaluated for COVID-19, you may call the COVID-19 and Flu Evaluation
Center at 814-373-5216 for an appointment or contact your Primary Care