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Charles City school will help with community COVID vaccine clinic

By Bob Steenson,

Charles City schools are working with Floyd County Public Health and Hy-Vee Pharmacy to hold a community COVID-19 vaccine clinic next week, on Tuesday morning, June 1, in the high school gymnasium.

Superintendent Mike Fisher said at the school board meeting Monday evening that the clinic is aimed at students age 12 to 15 who are now eligible to receive the vaccine, but is also for anyone else in the community who wants to be vaccinated.

“It is the Pfizer vaccine, which Hy-Vee had access to,” Fisher said. “If there’s more need we’re happy to host more of those as needed for the community.”

The clinic will be 9:30 to 11:30 a.m., and persons are asked to sign up at THIS LINK.

Persons under age 18 need parent or guardian consent to be vaccinated.

Patients can visit their local Hy-Vee Pharmacy 21 days after their first dose to receive their second vaccine dose. The vaccine is free for everyone, regardless of insurance coverage.

County Public Health Administrator Gail Arjes said Monday that the county has been hesitant to set up clinics for adolescents because of the requirements with the Pfizer vaccine.

Initially it was only available to counties in lots of 1,000 doses, and the guideline was that it could only be stored for two weeks.

“We were not receiving the phone calls from parents, saying ‘I want to get my child vaccinated,’” Arjes said at the Board of Supervisors meeting Monday morning.” We just were not getting those, so my staff and I decided we would hold off a little bit until we see more parent interest in these, we were getting more phone calls.”

The guidelines will be changing next week to allow ordering in shipments of 450 doses of Pfizer, the only vaccine so far approved for persons age 12-17. The storage guideline has also changed to allow storage up to 30 days.

“That’s still 450 doses. That’s a lot of vaccine,” Arjes said.

She said Hy-Vee has hired staff just to administer the vaccine and the grocery chain is better able to manage vaccine supply by sending it to the Hy-Vee pharmacies where it is needed.

“They split it with the other Hy-Vees in the area, so they can get 200 doses, they can get 100 doses, they can get 1,000 doses” as needed, she said.

Arjes said she had contacted other county public health departments about sharing dose shipments, but had not found much interest.

She said this summer the county would definitely do a clinic.

“We’ve asked them to sign up on our website. We have all that information. We’ve told them we will call them to schedule an appointment. So going forward we will do clinics. I just don’t think we’re to that point where I can justify ordering 450 doses,” she said.

Arjes said her department had received permission to open vaccine vials to give doses to people who walk in to the office. The Moderna vaccine comes in 10-dose vials and the Johnson and Johnson comes in five-dose vials, but even if the other doses in the vial have to be wasted, it’s worth it to get another person vaccinated, she said.


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