Hospital Assists Health Department with Vaccinations

February 9, 2021

Community Hospital began helping Southwest Nebraska Public Health Department with COVID-19 vaccinations to the public on January 28, according to Sharon Conroy, RN, Community Hospital Infection Preventionist. Since then, closed vaccination pods will be planned weekly.

The hospital is providing meeting room space and staff to phone, vaccinate and organize the clinic as a public service to assist the health department in vaccinating those 65 years and older in the McCook area.

“This is an exciting endeavor for us in helping to slow down the pandemic and possibly bringing it up short,” Conroy said. So far, the hospital vaccinated 100 people on January 28 and 100 people on February 4. The next two vaccine clinics will accommodate 200 people each time. In addition, the second booster doses will be due for the 200 people who were vaccinated in January and early February.

Conroy emphasized a few things about the clinics as there have been questions from the public:

  • The original list of people 65 and older was supplied to the hospital from the health department.
  • These are closed vaccination pods. Community Hospital staff is calling people to schedule vaccinations using the list provided by the health department. Please do not call the hospital to make an appointment to get vaccinated.
  • The list provided to the hospital from the health department does not contain the person’s age or health condition. Due to this data not being available at this time, the hospital is not able to determine the most elderly or sickest patients.
  • To be added to the list, the public should sign up at the state website if they have not done so already. If they do not have internet, please ask for assistance from a friend, neighbor, or family member. Vaccination Registration Portal: www.Vaccinate.NE.Gov
  • If a person signed up to be vaccinated through the health department, please be patient. They will eventually be called!
  • Community Hospital schedulers highly recommend people please answer their phone when the hospital calls.

“We understand many people are anxiously awaiting a phone call to receive the COVID vaccine,” Conroy said. We will continue to work hard to get everyone on the list checked off as quickly as possible. We realize receiving the vaccine will give people more reassurance in the future.”

Those who have been vaccinated may have some side effects a few hours or days following. This could include sore muscles, body aches, headache, feeling tired, or mild fever. Conroy emphasized these responses mean the vaccine is working to help teach your body how to fight COVID-19 if you are exposed in the future. For most people, these immune responses will last no longer than a day or two. They do not mean you have COVID-19. It is not necessary to go to the emergency room if you have any of these symptoms.

In preparing for your vaccine, drink plenty of fluids the day before and the day of vaccination. Prep meals ahead. Don’t plan appointments or long trips up to 48 hours after your vaccination. Use Tylenol (acetaminophen) for minor discomforts.

A person will receive their fullest immunity, which can be as high as 94 percent, two weeks following the second booster shot. During the six-week vaccination period, where the body is building antibodies, people should continue to socially distance, wear a mask, avoid large groups and practice proper hand hygiene.