HADH holds large-scale booster vaccine event
The numbers tell a very clear story on the success, efficiency, and organization of a COVID-19 vaccination event held in Hermann on Saturday.
Dr. Michael Rothermich, the hospital's vice chief of staff, told the Advertiser-Courier the event went so well as to draw a favorable comparison to a vaccination event held in St. Louis on Saturday.
"What struck me was that we vaccinated 1,152 people with just 47 total staff and volunteers (and several of these only helped with set-up and breakdown)," Rothermich said, "while in St. Louis they required 185 staff (35 National Guard + 150 volunteers) to vaccinate only 2,200 people."
Rothermich said the second doses of the COVID-19 vaccine were administered at Hermann's event, with no wasted doses and six doses obtained from all opened vials. A total of 18 doses were kept on dry ice for people who were unable to be present (due to illness or scheduling conflict).
"We plan to give those booster doses over the next week or so," he said. "Despite vaccinating twice as many people in a single day, the event went smoothly by all accounts, with most people getting their vaccine within 10-15 minutes of arrival."
He said thanks goes to Gasconade County R-1 for the use of the gym and having everything ready to go.
"The core of a successful event like this is the great people who work it, and while it was mostly the same people giving up another weekend to help others, there were some new folks who joined us. It was a true community event, including staff from clinics at Southwest Medical Associates, Hermann Medical Arts, Associated Medical Arts, Medical Clinic of Owensville, Hermann Hospital, Hermann EMS, New Freedom Family Medicine and Gasconade County Health Department, as well as several other volunteers.
According to Rothermich, thanks also goes to Cerner, the principle sponsor of the vaccinations, as well as sponsors returning from the last event: Berlener’s Pharmacy, ARB Signs, and Kindred Hospice.
It's unknown if and when Hermann will see any more large-scale vaccinations, said Rothermich.
"The state has shifted their focus to vaccinating most Missourians through High-Throughput Health Care (HTHC) providers and mass vaccination events," he said. "We are not considered a High Throughput Health Care provider (despite vaccinating more people in a shorter period of time than some of those entities), and our events were not considered mass vaccination events, since our event was not coordinated by the state or with the help of the National Guard. Given this information, I doubt we will be given large quantities of vaccine to support future events like this. We have been led to believe that we and the Gasconade County Health Department can expect smaller amounts of vaccine (that is, 100 doses of the Moderna vaccine), every one to two weeks. These will be given through much smaller scale events, and usually on weekdays. Despite being told we are unlikely to get it, we plan to request additional large quantities of vaccine, as we still have thousands of eligible people on our list."
The hospital, its clinics, and Gasconade County Health Department will be calling residents who have given contact information through the Hermann Hospital signup sheet (there is a link at the top of the webpage, www.hadh.org). Yet officials are also considering offering online sign up for vaccine clinics through the centralized Missouri signup known as the Missouri Vaccine Navigator (https://covidvaccine.mo.gov/navigator/).
Those interested in being vaccinated are encouraged to sign up on the Navigator site, and to help anyone who is unable to sign up for themselves. Those without computer access only can call (877) 435-8411.
"Once again, thanks to everyone who helped make this event such a success!" Rothermich concluded.