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Local nursing home holds COVID-19 vaccine booster clinic for residents and staff

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REINBECK, Iowa (KWWL) - The Parkview Manor nursing home held a vaccine clinic Wednesday for COVID-19 booster shots to get those who are most vulnerable protected against the virus.

Older folks and nursing home staff are among the group eligible for the third dose. Both populations were also among groups that were first eligible to get vaccinated.

When vaccines were first made available clinics were common in nursing homes everywhere, but as of a couple months ago the federal program that lead those efforts announced it wouldn't do the same for booster shots. It's up to the individual nursing homes to take charge and get their residents and staff the third dose.

"It's for the residents. It's for our community," Parkview Manor Nursing Director Sean Schafer said.

Those at the nursing home in Reinbeck rolled up their sleeves and got their third shot against COVID-19. Many receiving their first round of vaccines back in January as they were one of the first groups eligible for the drug.

"It's just another layer of security that we have for them," Parkview Manor Administrator Scott Kramer said.

Nearly 50 people got their extra dose from the clinic with the help of the local pharmacy.

"It's a needed thing. We need this to end and this is one way to get people safer and healthier," Kramer said.

Since the Pfizer vaccine booster is the only FDA authorized shot at the moment, those in the home who have received Moderna or Johnson and Johnson's shot were not able to get the booster.

"I am here to take care of people and part of taking care of people is to do the most I can to help protect them," Nursing Director Sean Schafer said.

Schafer cares for people like 95-year-old Delbert Blom, a resident of six years. He was among many who stepped up to do his part and get his booster shot.

"I think it's really helping. I think everybody should get a shot," Blom said.

He hopes the pandemic fades away soon so he won't have to worry about isolating or wearing a mask for much longer.

"A bad disease. It sure is a bad one," Blom said.

With flu season starting, Reinbeck Pharmacy also gave flu shots at the clinic. Some people received a shot in each arm as it is acceptable to get a flu shot along with the COVID-19 booster.

Those eligible for the COVID-19 booster dose include people over the age of 65, those living in long-term care facilities and, those aged 50-64 with underlying health conditions. Other eligible populations include people 18-49 with underlying health conditions and 18-64 who work or live in high-risk settings.