Watonwan County Public Health continues vaccine rollouts with local vaccine clinics

Sean Ellertson
St. James Plaindealer

On Thursday morning inside the Northside Gym, Watonwan County Public Health continued to roll out vaccines, administering over 250 combined first and second doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.

"We've had a really good turnout of individuals really interested in the vaccine," said Community Health Services Manager/CHS Administrator Julia Whitcomb. "We haven't wasted a single dose in the county... We've been able to make sure individuals get their second dose, whether through us or someone else, like Madelia Clinic or area pharmacies."

As of Thursday, Watonwan County Public Health specifically has given a total of (1st and 2nd doses combined) 2,239 shots from January. A total of 45% of 16+ individuals in Watonwan County have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine as of April 1, and 74% of 65+ in Watonwan County have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

"We've received a lot of positive feedback," said Whitcomb. "Individuals from the second they step through the door to the time they're able to leave is about 20-25 minutes, and that includes a 15 minute observation period. We're able to get individuals through extremely fast so there's no wait time and they can go back to their regular duties. We have staff as observers ready to go in case someone would have a reaction."

Watonwan County Health is starting to see more of the general public at vaccine clinics but is still seeing plenty of those in the 65+ age bracket.

Whitcomb says that individuals who are vaccinated should stick with the same vaccine that they received on their first shot, and if an individual misses their second shot, they can still get it at a later date.

Whitcomb also praises the work of the staff at Watonwan County Public Health through the vaccine rollouts.

"It's indescribable. They've been putting in long hours and long days. They've had to try and do their normal job duties as well as COVID duties... They've been able to do that on multiple different levels and I can't say enough about my staff and I continue to hear compliments from the community."

Those looking for a vaccine can call Watonwan County Public Health, or sign up through a Public Health Connector. Every household in Watonwan County receives a postcard that contains Watonwan County's Public Health information, so individuals can sign up through a Public Health Connector, which will set individuals up with an appointment at a local pharmacy.