COVID Vaccine In Bond County

Courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention

Local residents are wondering about COVID-19 vaccine.

The vaccine is available in the United States from two companies, Moderna and Pfizer.

Dr. Tom Dawdy, president of the Bond County Health Department Board, said the county expects to receive some doses this week. 200 doses of the Moderna vaccine a few weeks ago. Half was held by the county for community healthcare providers and the other half went to HSHS Holy Family Hospital for their providers.

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Dr. Ryan Jennings, chief medical officer at HSHS Holy Family Hospital, said the vaccine is absolutely safe. He said the health system has administered seven to eight thousand and side effects have been very minimal.

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Dr. Dawdy also commented on the vaccine’s safety, noting that even thought it was developed quickly, there has been considerable experience with it. He pointed out that the risks of the vaccine are “nothing” compared with the risks of a COVID infection, pointing out that 1.3 out of every 1,000 people have died from the virus.

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At this point, Bond County has not received any Pfizer vaccine, which needs to be kept at a very low temperature.

Now that COVID vaccines are available in the United States, how and when will they get to Bond County residents?

Dr. Dawdy said the first group to receive the vaccine, group 1A, will be healthcare workers and those in long term care facilities. The 1B group is frontline essential workers such as teachers and law enforcement officers. All people age 65 and over are also in group 1B. Group 1C is essential workers who have less face to face contact with the public and younger people with specified health conditions. He said he expects the definitions of those groups to evolve.

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Dr. Dawdy said the registration process will begin online and appointments will be scheduled to receive the vaccination at the health department.

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Later in the week, after their initial interview, Jeff Leidel found out many people had been calling the health department about registration. Dr. Dawdy said, “We’re not encouraging or discouraging the general population from calling in to the health department. If they call their names will be taken and when they’re eligible to register, they will be notified so they can go online to register for an appointment. That might occur in phases and it will also depend on how much vaccine is available. When group 1B opens up for registration, it will be publicized through the news media.”

Dawdy said it is anticipated all COVID-19 immunizations will be administered by appointment only.

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