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18 and older can get vaccinated in Marshall County

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO Marshalltown resident Eldon Brittain receives his COVID-19 vaccine. He was in the wave of first recipients in the county.

Even though the state of Iowa opened the eligibility for COVID-19 vaccines on Monday, it was surprisingly calm in Marshall County.

Marshall County Public Health Nurse Pat Thompson said Monday was relatively uneventful, despite vaccine eligibility being opened to everyone age 16 and older. There were a couple cruxes in the mix for Marshall County, however.

First, the supply would not begin to meet the demand. The county has continued to receive shipments of 500 doses each week and that number has not increased. Second, only people who are 18 and older can get vaccinated in Marshall County.

“The only vaccine Marshall County has is the Moderna and that starts at 18,” Thompson said. “Pfizer starts at 16 and we are not getting Pfizer. I do not know of any place in Marshall County with Pfizer.”

The nursing homes in the county did have Pfizer doses, but those were earmarked for residents and staff members. The facilities are keeping some on hand for new residents and staff, she said.

There is not a large number of locations Marshall County residents can receive vaccines, either, and when appointment slots are available, they go quickly. Many residents are leaving the county to get their shots, and Thompson stressed it is very important for them to return to the exact same location when they go back for their second dose.

A frustrating aspect for many people is checking on the vaccine locations, only to find out there are no open appointments available for the rest of the week. Thompson suggested people check out the websites on Wednesday.

“I already know this week, every dose coming in is already going to go into an arm,” she said. So, that means appointments are already full.

“Check every Wednesday or in the middle of each week,” Thompson said. “Check the pharmacies – that is a good place to start. And, please, if someone calls you, answer the phone. Because no one is going to call you back.”

Some locations, she said, are still calling patients to schedule vaccine appointments.

There are no warnings given to anyone with underlying medical conditions at this time, she said, since everyone who is of the correct age is eligible to get inoculated.

VACCINE LOCATIONS:

• McFarland Clinic, mcfarlandclinic.com. The health care facility has ceased calling patients to schedule an appointment. People have to visit the webpage to schedule an appointment, and they can chose from locations in Marshalltown, Carroll and Ames

• Primary Health Care — phciowa.org. The website states they will begin vaccinating people age 18 and older April 12. People are asked to fill out a survey to determine eligibility and then their names will be placed on a list.

• Hy-Vee, hy-vee.com. Available time slots are updated daily. People are asked to not call the pharmacy, but rather to check the online scheduler regularly.

• UnityPoint Health — Marshalltown. Information currently unavailable.

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Contact Lana Bradstream at 641-753-6611 or

lbradstream@timesrepublican.com.

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