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University of Michigan Hospital workers show what ‘reconstituting’ COVID vaccine means

Simply put: It means adding saline to vaccine to prepare for immunization

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Michigan Medicine plans to have 55 frontline workers receive the COVID-19 vaccine on Tuesday.

Tom Mann, the director of occupational health at the University of Michigan Hospital, described what needs to be done to get the vaccine to these workers.

“We have to coordinate with our pharmacy team, our supply chain team in getting all the things we need here to be able to vaccinate. And then the timeline and how much time the vaccine can stay out, versus reconstituting it, versus getting the staff here, so there is a lot of logistics involved,” said Mann.

The “reconstitution process” means mixing the vaccine with saline to prepare it for the patient.

“Once we reconstitute, then we will utilize those for the vaccinations,” said Mann.

First doses arrived Monday

The first doses from Pfizer came rolling into Michigan Medicine on Monday morning. A delivery person for UPS got a round of applause as she brought in the vaccine.

University of Michigan Health System President Dr. David Spahlinger said he got word over the weekend that the vaccines were ready and being shipped. On Monday morning, he got a text everyone has been hoping for.

“It was a package of hope,” Spahlinger said. “It was a package of hope that we are going to end this, save lives.”

He said even though this is a positive sign, the pandemic is not over, and COVID-19 is still a threat. People should still wear masks and practice social distancing.

Fact vs. fiction on COVID-19 vaccines

It’s been a long time coming -- but we’ve finally arrived at vaccine rollout for COVID-19. The first shipments left Pfizer in West Michigan on Sunday morning. It’ll take months to fully distribute the vaccine to the general population, but we’re working to keep you informed -- and to get you ready.

We fact-checked some of the myths surrounding the vaccine and answered some key questions -- read here.


Coronavirus in Michigan


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