First vaccine clinic targets elderly

Allen County's first public vaccination clinic will offer inoculations to residents 85 and older from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 18 at Riverside Park. Clinics will be scheduled later for different age groups.

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February 3, 2021 - 10:09 AM

A health care worker prepares to give COVID-19 vaccines at a drive-thru site in the Lake County Fairgrounds on Jan. 27, 2021, in Grayslake. Photo by Stacey Wescott / Chicago Tribune

The first COVID-19 vaccination clinic for Allen County was announced Tuesday. It will target elderly residents. 

County health officials plan to vaccinate those age 85 and older from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 18 at Riverside Park in Iola. The clinics will be in a drive-thru format, with recipients staying in their vehicles.

Only Allen County residents can attend this clinic; other clinics have been scheduled in other counties.

Though vaccine shortages continue, Allen County also will start to vaccine first responders and school personnel this week.

Allen County and other health departments in the Southeast Kansas Multi-County Health Departments system received only minimal amounts of COVID-19 vaccine this week, according to a weekly update from the department.

The vaccine should allow the departments to vaccinate the remaining health care workers not done in an earlier phase, first responders including fire and law enforcement, and K-12 school staff.

The Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas is assisting with school vaccinations in Allen and Bourbon counties. 

Soon, the health departments will start to offer the vaccine to those age 65 and older. Because of the vaccine shortages, they’ll offer clinics for small groups based on age. 

TO PREPARE for the clinic, participants can download consent forms from the sekmchd.com website. Bring the completed forms with you to save time, health department officials said. 

The department offered several guidelines:

• Do not begin to line up any earlier than a half hour before the start of the clinic. Lining up early will cause significant delays, as staff and volunteers will not be able to get to the clinic site to deliver the vaccine.

• Masks are required at the vaccination site.

• Wear short sleeves. Layer with outer clothes, sweaters and coats to stay warm.

• Traffic will be one-way into and out of the clinic. Watch for signs.

• If vaccine doses do not arrive as scheduled, clinics will be canceled and notices placed on the website, Facebook and radio.

Future clinics are planned for age groups 75-84, 70-74 and 65-73. Dates will be posted later.

After the age groups, the health department will offer clinics to high-contact critical workers.

It’s likely the remaining county residents will not receive a vaccine until April unless supplies increase.

Clinics were also scheduled for other counties in the SEKMCHD:

9 a.m. to noon Feb. 10 at the Anderson County Health Department.

10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Feb. 9 at the Firstsource building in Bourbon County.

10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Feb. 17 at the Fairgrounds Community Building in Woodson County.

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