A portal has been created allowing Dawson County residents and others in the region to register for a by-appointment COVID-19 vaccine, District 2 Public Health announced Wednesday.
Appointments will be made for residents in the county in which they live or work. Vaccines will be given by appointment only, the department says.
In a statement posted on Facebook Wednesday morning, the Dawson County Health Department said that they would be vaccinating healthcare workers throughout the next week and that vaccines will not be available to residents over the age of 65 until Jan. 18th at the earliest.
"During this time please refrain from calling to set up an appointment unless you are a healthcare worker," the post said. "In the meantime, continue to practice social distancing, wear a mask in public places, and wash your hands frequently."
Melissa Frank, NGHS’ director of pharmacy services, said they have vaccinated nearly 4,000 employees as of Wednesday, Jan. 6, which is roughly one-third of NGHS’ workforce.
“Administering vaccines during the holidays was challenging, and it’s been tough to move quickly when we’re advising employees to get their shot before a day off work, just in case they experience any of the common side effects like headaches, fatigue, etc.,” Frank said in a statement. “It’s also difficult for some of our workers to break away when we’re seeing record numbers of patients, and many employees have either been sick themselves or picking up extra shifts.”
District 2 Public Health spokesman Dave Palmer said they are still in the 1a phase of the vaccine rollout, which included health care and EMS first responders as well as long term care facilities’ staff.
This group was expanded last week to include law enforcement, fire department personnel and people 65 and older beginning Monday, Jan. 11.
"Please do not go to any of our health departments without having an appointment," the notice added. "Due to the high demand for the vaccine, we ask that everyone be patient as we schedule residents to get vaccinated."
To provide the vaccine in a safe environment, the District 2 Public Health office is asking residents to follow these steps:
We will limit the number of people in enclosed spaces by observing recommended social distances to prevent the spread of illness
Come to your appointment as close to the allotted time as possible to reduce the number of people in the waiting area (you may be asked to wait outside or in your car if you are too early)
If you have insurance, please bring your card. Insurance will help pay to offset the cost for administering the vaccine
There will be no cost to anyone to get vaccinated
You should plan to remain for post-vaccination observation for up to 30-minutes
Prior to vaccination, review of product-specific safety information and consent will be required
Both Moderna and Pfizer vaccine require two-doses – appointments are required for both doses
Please understand you will receive the vaccine that is available (Pfizer or Moderna)
Palmer also advised people to bring a form of identification or an insurance/Medicare card.
For more information, call the COVID-19 vaccine hotline, at 1-888-357-0169.