Vaccine shot

Hawarden Regional Healthcare Pharmacist Naomi Graves administers a Moderna vaccine to a patient during the Friday, April 9 vaccination clinic.

HAWARDEN—All Iowa adults are now eligible for COVID-19 vaccines. Hawarden Regional Healthcare will be offering the clinics on Fridays.

HRH previously held clinics on Tuesday.

“Some people have fatigue, fever or nausea the day after they get a vaccine and don’t want to work that day. Vaccinating on Fridays, especially Friday evenings, accommodates those people who work during the week,” said HRH staff Kenzi Bultman.

A little more than 2,000 shots have been received from the state to be given out between HRH’s three locations in Hawarden, Ireton, Akron and Booth Pharmacy in Hawarden. 

HRH CEO Jason Pullman said the Moderna vaccine is the most readily available of the three forms of COVID-19 vaccines. 

“At this time, we have more than enough Moderna vaccines to give a dose to any adult who wants it,” Pullman said. “We have a Johnson & Johnson waiting list.”

Iowans 16 and up are eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccines. Those 18 and up can receive the Moderna, Pfizer or Johnson & Johnson vaccines, but only the Pfizer vaccine has received approval for use in people 16 and up. Hy-Vee pharmacies are receiving the Pfizer vaccine.

None of the vaccines have been approved for people under 16.

People who received vaccines may have gotten the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has put a halt to the use of that vaccine as of Monday, April 12, pending information about a side effect that causes blood clots.

“We will closely follow any discussion and information provided by the CDC and the FDA,” Graves said.

HRH has been working closely with the other three Sioux County hospitals and Community Health Partners in Orange City who let them know via e-mail and weekly through virtual meeting how much vaccines will be available from the state that week.

Sioux County Community Health Partners announced Thursday that vaccine supplies in the county will increase.

“We are excited that our COVID-19 vaccine supply is almost to the point of meeting the demand,” said Sarah Van Wyk, Community Health Partners’ COVID-19 vaccine coordinator. “If you have been waiting for your turn to sign up, please sign up now. Wait times are minimal, and we expect vaccine to be more available over the next two weeks. Anyone who lives, works or receives their health care in Sioux County can receive a vaccine from their health care provider or the Hy-Vee pharmacy.”

At this time, HRH continues to welcome people to sign up by completing the form online at hawardenregionalhealthcare.com. Kim Puck, the scheduler, will call people to set up appointments. People who do not have internet access can call the hospital at 712-551-3100 and ask to set up a vaccination time. Booth Drug is also giving the Moderna vaccine, and patients can call them at 712-551-2374 to schedule an appointment.

“Vaccination will help keep you from getting COVID-19,” Pullman said. “COVID-19 vaccination is a safer way to help build protection and prevent the spread of COVID-19 that helps stop the pandemic. Once you are fully vaccinated, you can start doing some things that you stopped doing because of the pandemic, however, people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 should keep taking precautions in public places like wearing a mask, staying 6 feet apart from others, avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated spaces and washing your hands often.”

“I have to be honest, the vaccines do come with some side effects,” Graves added. “Most people will have a sore arm, some body aches, tiredness, a fever, chills, or nausea. Some get a red area where the vaccine went into the arm. But as I have told many people, it’s sure better than COVID-19. Also, I recommend taking a pain reliever such as acetaminophen the morning after getting the vaccine, to prevent some of these side effects. And the side effects usually go away within two days or so.”

Currently two-thirds, or 66 percent, of HRH staff are fully vaccinated.

Although eligibility has expanded to include all adults, priority populations previously outlined in Phase 1B of the Iowa Department of Public Health’s vaccination rollout plan are still being vaccinated in some N’West Iowa counties. Where applicable, vaccination clinics specifically for those individuals are being held, but they also are able to sign up for appointments.

Public health departments said people 65 and up, who were part of that priority population, have had ample opportunity to be vaccinated if they want it. Gov. Kim Reynolds has said 80 percent of Iowans 65 and older have received their first COVID-19 vaccine shot.

As of Tuesday, April 13, in Sioux County, 5,945 residents have received two-dose vaccines and 1,315 single-dose vaccines were administered.

After vaccination

n The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has published recommendations for what activities people can resume after vaccination. These include visiting other fully vaccinated people or with one household of non-vaccinated people who are not at risk for severe illness without wearing a mask. The recommendation to quarantine after traveling domestically or internationally also has been lifted for fully vaccinated people.

Wearing a mask, social distancing and avoiding medium to large gatherings, particularly indoors, are still recommended even for those who are vaccinated while out in public spaces.