Rural Sidney hospital administers hundreds of COVID-19 vaccines
SIDNEY, Mont. - The Sidney Health Center has administered 388 COVID-19 vaccinations to healthcare workers and long-term care residents since Dec. 22. The hospital still has about 200 doses available for those groups and expects to receive more soon.
Staff say they’re grateful that small hospitals are able to receive shipments, because their area has had a difficult time mitigating the spread of COVID-19.
“I think the pace of transmission in a rural community, it’s really hard to slow that rate down. It’s a lot more difficult than in the bigger city settings. It’s got a lot more dimensions,” said ER Registered Nurse Lacey Meissel.
Providers say not only is the vaccine helping them in their workplace, but also at home.
“It makes me feel more comfortable in a close environment giving my patients regular visits. But also, it lets me potentially be able to spend more time with my own family. That I have not seen some of those family members in nearly a year,” said Family Nurse Practitioner Patti Iversen.
Staff will receive their second dose of the Moderna vaccine within the next few weeks. Getting additional vaccines for the public will depend on when the state of Montana moves into the next phase of its vaccine distribution plan.
“Once we start getting into that 1b phase where we’re doing the 70 and older and those with co-morbidities that would make them a higher risk, I’m assuming we’d be getting more then, but we’re still waiting to see how that’s going to happen,” added Pharmacist Joseph Tabor.
Providers say staff and long-term care residents have only had minor reactions to the vaccine, but it’s likely people’s immune systems will have a bigger response to the second dose.
The Sidney Health Center says their number of COVID-19 patients has been slowly decreasing this month after a surge in December. On Tuesday, the hospital had five patients who were being treated for COVID-19.
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