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Floyd County vaccinations continue as 9th Street Chautauqua residents, staff get their first COVID-19 shots

Floyd County vaccinations continue as 9th Street Chautauqua residents, staff get their first COVID-19 shots
Sherry VanHauen, a certified nursing assistant at 9th Street Chautauqua in Charles City, receives a COVID-19 vaccination on Monday at the care facility. VanHauen is the organization’s longest tenured employee, having started in May 1981. Administering the vaccine is CVS pharmacist Chris Neve. Submitted photo
By Bob Steenson, bsteenson@charlescitypress.com

About 125 residents and staff from 9th Street Chautauqua and staff from other Chautauqua Guest Homes received COVID-19 vaccinations Monday as the fight against the new coronavirus continued ramping up in Floyd County.

“It’s a wonderful day!” said Sue Ayers, a former administrator and now infection prevention nurse at the care facilities. “All of the resident here got it. All of them!” she said about 9th Street Chautauqua.

Ayers said vaccinations will be available for residents and staff at Riverside Senior Living on Thursday and at the 11th Street Chautauqua care facility on Saturday.

Last Wednesday, vaccinations began for staff at the Floyd County Medical Center.

The vaccine is being administered at the 9th Street and 11th Street Chautauquas by pharmacists and pharmacy techs from CVS Pharmacy as part of a federal contract to get the vaccine to long-term care facilities. Walgreens and some regional pharmacies across the country are also included in the contract.

The vaccinations on Thursday at Riverside will be done by Floyd County Public Health, Ayers said.

Monday was the first day of the vaccination rollout to long-term care facilities in Iowa.

“We’re just thankful that we’re starting this,” Ayers said Monday evening. “I can’t believe we got it on the first day. It’s awesome.”

Two pharmacists and two pharmacy techs were on hand from the Mason City CVS on Monday at 9th Street, Ayers said. The team for 11th Street on Saturday will be from Cedar Falls.

“I don’t know how they made their decisions,” Ayers said, regarding where the CVS teams come from. “As long as we get them it doesn’t matter.”

She said a team from CVS will be at each care facility three times, three weeks apart. The people who received their first dose of the vaccine Monday will get their second dose in three weeks, and anyone at the care facilities who didn’t get it Monday can get their first dose in three weeks and their second dose three weeks after that.

Ayers said they were still working at 5:30 p.m. Monday when contacted by the Press.

“The paperwork is now done, and so when they come back the next time the majority of them will already be in the system so it will go much quicker,” she said, adding that everyone who was vaccinated Monday received a card identifying the date and type of vaccine administered.

There are two vaccines currently approved for use in the United States, made by Pfizer and by Moderna. The first and second doses need to be of the same brand to be effective.

Ayers said the vaccine administered at 11th Street Monday was the Pfizer vaccine. The vaccine administered at the Floyd County Medical Center last week was the Moderna brand.

As of Monday evening, the state COVID-19 data website reported that there have been a total of 1,261 positive cases of COVID-19 reported in Floyd County since the pandemic began, with 33 deaths.

The positivity rate — the 14-day rolling average of the number of people in the county tested each day who have positive results for COVID-19 — was 9.4% Monday.

The only current outbreak of COVID-19 in long-term care facilities in Floyd County, at 11th Street Chautauqua, has apparently ended, as the state has been reporting zero new cases there in the past 14 days, for a couple of days. A total of 49 residents and staff had tested positive for the disease.

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