By Russ Coash, PA-C
Special to The Nebraska Signal
A total of 477 area residents were vaccinated on Saturday. This vaccination clinic held on Saturday, March 6, was the second group of COVID-19 vaccinations administered at the county fairgrounds. Previously, the Fillmore County Medical Center (FCMC) and Fillmore County Hospital (FCH) had been conducting vaccinations in the clinic and hospital. When Weaver Pharmacy started getting vaccine through a separate federal retail pharmacy program, the decision was made to use the Ag/Exhibition Hall at the Fillmore County Fairgrounds in Geneva.
Weaver Pharmacy owners Megan and Robby Nunns applied through their pharmacy wholesaler earlier this winter to receive vaccine from a federal program. The pharmacy is now receiving vaccine from the CDC Federal Retail Pharmacy Program.
Pharmacist Robby Nunns explains, “When the idea of being able to provide a vaccine to the community became a reality, I knew we would have to form a partnership to make it work. We just didn’t have the resources at our downtown business to meet the needs of our community. With the opportunity to work with FCH and FCMC, we have been able to give people the vaccine in a quick and efficient manner. It’s been amazing to see the teamwork, the number of volunteers, and countless hours it took to put this type of event together.”
This partnership came together in early February with The Fillmore County Emergency Management office becoming the fourth partner. Jean Engle, Emergency Management director for the county, has been responsible for recruiting and organizing vaccination clinic volunteers as well as many other tasks essential to the success of the two county vaccination events. One of the most important and time consuming of the tasks has been to schedule people for their vaccinations. Engle along with clinic nurses Deb Stanek and Megan Betka put in many hours each reaching out to people to schedule their vaccination. Scheduling people at specific times rather than asking people just to show up at a location is essential to safely and efficiently conducting the vaccination clinics. Many other clinic and hospital employees have been involved in scheduling, planning and coordinating the vaccination events. Since early February, a team of people from the four collaborating entities have been meeting regularly.
The community vaccination team has been working closely with the district public health department to vaccinate people following the state’s vaccination priority plan. The two county vaccination events and the multiple vaccination clinics conducted at the FCMC have focused on vaccinating people 65 and older.