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Portage County Health Care facility preps for Jan. 6 vaccination

Published: Dec. 28, 2020 at 8:02 PM CST
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STEVENS POINT, Wis. (WSAW) - The first on-site COVID-19 vaccinations took place at skilled nursing facilities in Wisconsin for staff and residents Monday, Dec. 28 as part of the pharmacy partnership program for long-term care.

Newschannel 7 checked in with the Portage County Health Care Facility, which did not begin vaccinating on Dec. 28, but instead started the paperwork process to get folks vaccinated starting Jan. 6.

The registration process for the COVID-19 vaccine began as early as 5 a.m. Monday morning.

“We’re trying to not only stay on top of everything, but make sure that education is a key because we can know it and we can believe in it, but we need to ensure that our families, particularly, are understanding since they’re not able to be on-site,” Portage County Health Care Center Nursing Home Administrator Marcia McDonald said.

McDonald said workers have been teaching families about the vaccine since its inception and they plan to vaccinate staff and residents who are ready on Jan. 6 as safely as possible.

“We’re fortunate in our large building to have an entrance that is solely dedicated to our employee entrance, it also has a safe area for rooms so that when the pharmacy is on-site, they will be taking over that process,” McDonald said.

She said their facility has gone 286 straight days COVID-free for people living there, she said now is not the time to give up on safety protocols, but they’re relieved for the arrival of the vaccine.

“I think our residents are highly watching the news and keeping abreast of things so they too are making educated choices depending upon their personal feelings on life, and so far the hype has been very positive hype,” McDonald said.

The private-public partnership allows pharmacies including Walgreens and CVS to administer vaccinations at long term care facilities.

It’s McDonald’s goal to get as many people ready for the vaccination as possible.

“It is an early submission so that on Jan. 6, the pharmacy can be here on-site and administer that vaccine to both our residents and our team,” she said.

The second dose of the vaccine will be administered on Feb. 3 and the first dose will also be available that day for those who don’t get it on the Jan. 6 vaccination date.

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