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J&J vaccines to be at Marshalltown Speedway

A special COVID-19 vaccine clinic will be held at the Marshalltown Speedway on Friday.

Beginning at 4:15 p.m., Marshall County Public Health Nurse Pat Thompson and health care providers will give people doses of the Johnson & Johnson version. First, they will be outside at the main gate, 1308 E. Olive St. for 45 minutes. Then, from 5:15 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., they will move inside the main gate.

Thompson said look for the banner flag and that there is no charge for the vaccine. However, race attendees will have to pay admission.

She thinks most of the people who remain unvaccinated in Marshall County are waiting for the single dose Johnson & Johnson, of which she has 100 available.

“People are still trickling in to get the vaccine, but people are calling for Johnson & Johnson,” Thompson said. “They just want the one dose. People can call me if they want the one dose.”

This week, she turned away an offer of 500 doses of the Moderna vaccine because it was not needed in Marshall County. However, Thompson did accept 1,170 doses of the Pfizer version, which will be split between the counties of Marshall, Boone and Jasper.

“In our regional preparedness group, we took this amount of the vaccine and Marshall county was chosen to store it because we have the long-term storage capacity,” she said. “When the shipment arrives on May 21, I will deliver doses to Jasper and Boone.”

As Thompson was busy administering doses at another vaccination clinic on Thursday, the Centers for Disease Control recommended people who are fully vaccinated can feel free to remove masks in crowds and in most indoor settings. When she heard the news, Thompson did not know how it would be enforced.

“How do you know who is vaccinated and who is not?” she asked. “People should be wise and continue wearing masks, and that’s hard right now, but not impossible. If I am going to the grocery store, I will wear my mask because I do not know who has been vaccinated.”

Thompson said people should continue practicing COVID-19 pandemic precautions — wear a mask, social distancing, wash hands and stay home if sick. She said it might appear the pandemic is winding down, but had reservations.

“We have not vaccinated kids yet,” Thompson said. “Yesterday, we got permission to vaccinated 12 — to 15-year-olds, but we are nowhere near done. We have no protection until then. They are going to make a huge difference. Please, keep doing what you’re doing.”

According to the Iowa Department of Public Health COVID-19 website, there have been 5,194 cases of the virus within Marshall County, and 75 deaths. The death number has stayed the same for the last two weeks.

The website also reports 3,041 people in Marshall County have initiated the first shot of a two-dose series, 12,468 residents have completed the vaccine series and 2,195 opted for the single dose Johnson & Johnson.

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Contact Lana Bradstream at 641-753-6611 or

lbradstream@timesrepublican.com.

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