REINBECK, Iowa (KWWL) – Parkview Manor Nursing Home hosted a vaccination clinic for COVID-19 booster shots on Wednesday to protect those most vulnerable from the virus.
The elderly and nursing home staff are among the group eligible for the third dose. The two populations were also among the groups that were the first eligible to be vaccinated.
When vaccines were first made available, clinics were common in nursing homes around the world, but a few months ago the federal program that led those efforts announced it would not do the same goes for booster shots. It is up to individual retirement homes to pay for and administer the third dose to their residents and staff.
“It’s for the residents. It’s for our community, ”said Sean Schafer, Director of Nursing for Parkview Manor.
Those at Reinbeck nursing home rolled up their sleeves and got their third shot against COVID-19. Many received their first round of vaccines in January as they were one of the first groups eligible for the drug.
“It’s just another layer of security that we have for them,” said Scott Kramer, administrator of Parkview Manor.
Almost 50 people received their extra dose from the clinic with help from the local pharmacy.
“It’s a necessary thing. We need this to end and it’s a way to make people safer and healthier,” Kramer said.
Because the Pfizer vaccine booster is the only vaccine cleared by the FDA at this time, people at home who received the Moderna vaccine or Johnson and Johnson were unable to get the booster.
“I’m here to take care of people and part of taking care of people is doing as much as possible to protect them,” said nursing director Sean Schafer.
Schafer has looked after people like Delbert Blom, 95, who have been resident for six years. He was one of those who mobilized to do his part and receive his recall.
“I think it really helps. I think everyone should have a chance,” Blom said.
He hopes the pandemic subsides soon so he doesn’t have to worry about self-isolating or wearing a mask any longer.
“A bad disease. It’s definitely a bad disease,” Blom said.
With the onset of flu season, Reinbeck Pharmacy also administered flu shots at the clinic. Some people have received a vaccine in each arm because it is acceptable to get the flu shot with the COVID-19 booster.
Those eligible for the COVID-19 booster dose include people over 65, those living in long-term care facilities, and those aged 50 to 64 with underlying health conditions. Other eligible populations include people 18 to 49 with underlying health conditions and 18 to 64 who work or live in high-risk settings.