BarCo receives 100 Moderna vaccines
Healthcare workers receiving first doses from Health Department
The Barry County Health Department began administering Moderna vaccines for COVID-19 this week after receiving its first round of doses the week of Christmas.
Roger Brock, Department administrator, said the office received 100 doses of the vaccine, and the first ones were given on Monday.
“We are following the tier structure set out by the state, so right now, vaccines are going to tier 1A folks,” he said. “That includes people like dentist office employees, pharmacy employees and doctor offices not affiliated with the hospitals.”
Brock said some were inoculated on Monday, and the Department plans to use all 100 vaccines delivered.
“We have reached out to offices, and people who qualify have come to us, as well,” he said. “Once you open the vial, you only have a short time to use it all, so we want to get it in people’s arms as quickly as possible.”
Brock said a second shipment date is yet to be determined, but those who receive vaccines in this round will have to have the second dose in 28 days.
“We are going to some sites and giving some at the Health Department,” he said. “For some offices with multiple people who want them, we will go to them to get the vaccines out as quickly as possible.”
Mercy and Cox hospital facilities have already received their shipments, with Mercy administering the Pfizer vaccine and Cox opting for Moderna. Brock said long term care facilities in the area generally contract with Walgreens or CVS, giving those employees opportunities to get the vaccine outside of the Health Department.
“After this round, we will look to get vaccinations to people like first responders and fire department staff,” Brock said. “Right now, we are just trying to get out as many as we can given what we have.”
Brock said to receive a vaccine, a patient has to follow general Health Department protocols and paperwork filing. No one is required to be vaccinated, and those choosing to opt out simply do not file any paperwork or request a vaccine.
Brock said those who have previously tested positive and are no longer in isolation or contagious may get a vaccine if they wish.