Vaccine rollout continues in Butler County


Dumont Wellness Center Administrator Kersten Fisher was among the first to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at ABCM's long term care facilities. (Submitted photo)
By: 
Travis Fischer
Eclipse News-Review

COVID-19 vaccines continue to roll out in Butler County as Butler County Public Health and ABCM work to inoculate priority populations.

On December 29, the Dumont Wellness Center and Maple Manor Village in Aplington became the first of ABCM's 31 Iowa locations to receive the vaccine from CVS Pharmacy.

“Very early in the process, we partnered with CVS/Omincare for vaccines to be administered via the Pharmacy Provider Vaccination Program as they already service several of our locations for pharmacy and consulting services,” said Alexa Mayner, ABCM Corporation's Chief Operating Officer.

“The earliest the Pharmacy Provider Vaccination Program could begin administering vaccines in the state of Iowa was yesterday [December 28th, 2020], with the pharmacy determining when each clinic is scheduled, so we are thrilled to have two ABCM locations scheduled with clinics yesterday and several more scheduled for this week and next,” said Jessica Sunstrom, ABCM Corporation Pharmacy Consultant. “The vaccine administered to all our ABCM locations via the Pharmacy Provider Vaccination Program, including Aplington and Dumont, will be the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, which consists of two doses given three weeks apart.”

ABCM has several other clinics coming up for their facilities, with Allison expecting to receive the vaccine in the next couple weeks.

For Butler County Public Health, Director Jennifer Becker reported Monday that they have administered 120 of their allocated 500 doses of vaccine.

Because each vial of vaccine comes with ten doses and must be used within six hours of opening, the public health department is working to schedule people in groups of ten to receive the shot.

"We're kind of under restrictions with the vaccine in that I can't just open a vial and make a shot," said Becker. "When I get ten people together, I'll set up a time where I can get them together and give them the vaccine."

Right now only the first priority populations, specifically face-to-face healthcare workers, are authorized to receive the vaccine and it may take some time before the state authorizes additional groups, such as firefighters or essential workers. Even if every healthcare provider in the county receives the vaccine, the county has to wait until all healthcare providers in the state are inoculated. Only then will the state authorize the next group to receive the vaccine.

"We can't decide individually as a county to move on to the next group," said Becker.

As of Monday, January 4, a total of 1,302 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the county, increasing the county total from the week prior by 53, a small decline from a week ago.

With 1,110 cases considered recovered by the state, there are currently 169 known active cases in the county, continuing the decrease in active cases for the New Year.

The state is currently reporting that 23 COVID-19 related deaths have been reported from Butler County, an increase of five from the previous week.

In Butler County, 5,564 individuals have been tested at some point during the pandemic, with a total of 18,049 tests performed on Butler County residents. In the last 14 days, 15.9% of individuals tested have been positive for the virus, an increase from the previous week.

Among Butler County's long term care facilities, no ABCM facility in the county is reporting cases or symptoms among their residents. One staff member at the Dumont Wellness Center has reported symptoms, but otherwise there are no current cases of COVID-19 in ABCM's Butler County facilities.

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