A total of 36 frontline/emergency personnel on Monday were administered the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine at the Osage County Community Center in an invitation-only process.“It’s a …
A total of 36 frontline/emergency personnel on Monday were administered the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine at the Osage County Community Center in an invitation-only process.
“It’s a good feeling to be able to vaccinate those who see patients first,” said Osage County Health Department (OCHD) Deputy Administrator Kim Sallin. “We have been fortunate that JCMG was able to provide us with the vaccine, and we appreciate the kindness of area hospitals in making special arrangements for those who could not be there Monday.”
Because of OCHD’s refrigeration limitations, storage of the Pfizer vaccine is not an option, which means the department has to rely on hospitals to provide the vaccine. However, Sallin said she hopes by the end of the week to have vaccinator status, after which she’ll coordinate with area hospitals to provide the vaccine, which then can be administered here.
“A clinic will be organized and the OCHD will personally notify those who meet specific criteria who have expressed interest in receiving the vaccine,” said Sallin. “This will not be open to the public because we will only have a limited number of vaccine injections allotted to us.”
If and when the department has access to the Moderna vaccine, a public offering may be possible.
For now, Sallin urges everyone to remain cautious.
“We have gone from an average of five to 12 days before the first symptoms show up to just two to five days in some cases,” she said. “It would not surprise me to see a second strain lurking around but since we don’t test for that around here, it’s impossible to say.”
Thus far, Osage County has had a total of 1,494 positive cases, with 50 currently active, and the death count has risen to 11. No test results were available from Monday because state facilities were closed in honor of Martin Luther King Day but results flooded the department Tuesday. Sallin said there may be an increase in overall cases as the week progresses but she does not believe it will be significant.
Sallin urges everyone to be cautious, wear a mask, social-distance, and wash hands frequently to help contain the spread.
For additional information and updates, visit OCHD on Facebook.