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Benton County administering Covid-19 vaccine

Published: Dec. 23, 2020 at 4:07 PM CST
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) -Last week, the larger cities, especially hospitals across Iowa received the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. Now smaller places are getting their first shipments, with Moderna’s vaccine arriving. Many smaller, more rural counties are getting Moderna over the Pfizer vaccine because it’s easier to store.

Benton County just got the vaccine yesterday at Virginia Gay Hospital. Healthcare workers and long-term care facilities are getting the vaccine now.

“We’re really excited because this is something that we’ve dealt with for 9 months,” said Virginia Gay Hospital CEO Michele Schoonover. “Just the Covid itself. Ups and downs you know, a lot of it has been planning, so now that we finally got it, we can maybe start to see some results.”

LaGrange Pharmacy in Vinton is making room for the vaccine. They hope to have it within the next couple of days.

While bigger pharmacies like CVS and Walgreens are getting contracts to administer the vaccine at long term care facilities, LaGrange Pharmacy is working with the county on a strategy. The state has said its likely first responders will likely be part of the next group to get the vaccine. “I think it’s very important,” said Dan LaGrange, owner of LaGrange Pharmacy. “The sooner we can get them vaccinated, and the sooner we can get them working with the public, the better.”

Public Health experts believe the general public will start getting vaccinated with a few months. Benton County resident John Steiegelmeyer says he’s been waiting for this opportunity to get the vaccine. He’s been cautious the past 9 months.

“I just been careful,” he said. “Because I have a pulmonary condition so I just been careful.”

Even though he may have to wait a bit, he still sees a light at the end of the tunnel. “It could mean an end to all the shutdowns,” he said. “And all the stuff we have to go through to try to protect ourselves.”

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