Steven Howell, the Pharmacy Manager at INTEGRIS Baptist Medical Center, receives a token of appreciation from Alex Azar the former Secretary of the United States Department of Health and Human Services.
Howell was given this medallion for his role in discovering extra doses of the Pfizer vaccine. In early shipments of the vaccine, the FDA had originally approved the use of five doses per vial. But when examining the doses sent to INTEGRIS Health, Howell discovered that you could actually get six doses from each vial. He quickly informed his brother-in-law, U.S. Marine Colonel Gregory McCarthy, who happens to be on the White House Coronavirus Task Force. McCarthy relayed the information up the chain of command and after further review, the FDA granted permission for hospitals around the country to use the sixth dose. “In essence, we received 20-percent more doses than we originally thought,” said Howell. “We were able to vaccinate that many more people and none of the vaccine went to waste.”
Howell may downplay his involvement in this potentially life-saving discovery, but he fully understands the importance of expanding the use of such a scarce commodity. “It’s exciting to be a part of something so monumental,” admits Howell.
We applaud you, Steven, for your daily contributions to INTEGRIS Health and the citizens of Oklahoma, and we commend you for your service to the entire country.