CFVH continues vaccine efforts
by Annie Wooden, The Sanders County Ledger
Pictured: TROUT CREEK RESIDENT Shirley Windle gets her first COVID-19 vaccination from Jessica Malmend, RN, at a Clark Fork Hospital vaccine clinic earlier this month.
Clark Fork Valley Hospital (CFVH) continues to administer COVID-19 vaccines to residents of Sanders County.
On Monday, CFVH CEO Dr. Gregory Hanson said that 880 doses of the Moderna vaccine have been given at the hospital. All residents in Phase 1A (healthcare workers) have received both required doses, while 476 residents in Phase 1B (age 70 and older and age 18-69 with certain health problems) have received their first vaccine and 253 residents in Phase 1B have received their second vaccination.
"We are planning our next COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic for February 20 and anticipate we will administer 500 vaccines, if we receive our anticipated allotment," Hanson said. "The initial indication from the state was Sanders County could receive about 180 weekly vaccines if the state receives 13,500. That includes both us and the public health department, so one week we received half that number and the health department the other half."
CFVH continues to gather information on those wanting to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. A vaccination interest survey is available online at http://www.cfvh.org. For those without Internet access, the Sanders County Council on Aging is available to help people complete the CFVH survey. Call 741-2343 for help with the survey.
"We will get you vaccinated as quickly as possible," Dr. Hanson stated, adding that the hospital does not schedule vaccination appointments until they are confident they will have the doses to administer. "The fact that we have had over 1,900 Phase 1B responses to the survey indicates it will take a few weeks yet just to reach those, unless the state is able to increase our allotment," he noted. "After that we can start working with Phase 1C individuals."
Residents have commented on the ease and efficiency of CFVH's vaccination clinics. "I am amazed at how organized of a process this was," said Sandy True of Thompson Falls. "There are a lot of steps but everyone was so helpful and got us through so efficiently."
After the February 20 clinic, there will still be over 570 residents in Phase 1B waiting to get vaccinated, as well as more than 540 for Phase 1C. Those numbers increase as more people take the online survey.
Dr. Hanson said the staff is grateful to see the community response regarding the COVID-19 vaccine. "After months of seeing individuals seriously ill with the infection, and the heavy strain placed on the staff to care for patients during the pandemic, it is good to see the proverbial 'light at the end of the tunnel.' It is still a long tunnel, but it is encouraging to see the positive direction things are moving," he stated. "Thank you for doing your part, and for being patient as we work to immunize you as quickly as possible given the limitations."