Henry Ford Health System makes preparations for COVID-19 vaccines

Henry Ford Health System is making preparations to distribute the Pfizer vaccine but it's not as easy as just deciding who goes first.

With the FDA expected to approve of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine Friday night, the first batch is expected to arrive in just a matter of days and Dr. Adnan Munkahrah says the hospital system is ready.

"This is an amazing period of time. We're going through a health crisis like I've never seen before but we also have the development of a vaccine that we have never seen before," Dr. Munkarah said. "Four of our 5 hospitals are equipped with ultracold freezers will be receiving that first batch of vaccine early week. We understand that between December 15 and December 17 - each of our hospitals will receive 975 doses."

The first doses will go to Henry Ford Health System employees who are most at risk for exposure to COVID-19.

"We are hoping that with the next few weeks, as the production of the vaccines will ramp up and we'll be able to get all the doses that are needed to vaccinate all of the other employees who are at risk of being exposed to the virus," he said.

As Michigan's second surge has appeared to plateau, for now, Henry Ford Health System says the number of hospitalizations is trending in the right direction.

"As of this morning 308 patients who are COVID positive admitted to our 5 acute health system almost 15% drop in the number of COVID positive admissions in the past week," Dr. Munkarah said

But the fight isn't over yet. There are currently over 650 Henry Ford employees off work due to COVID-19, putting a major strain on the staff in general. Health experts are urging people to stay home and avoid large gatherings this holiday season.

They're also urging people to get a flu shot if they haven't already.