Family Medical Center to facilitate COVID-19 vaccines

The state of Idaho is in stage 1 and 2.1 of the COVID-19 vaccine distribution until Feb. 1.
 Stage 1 of vaccine distribution allots tier 1 healthcare workers including medical staff, dentists, and public health and emergency response workers.
 Stage 2.1 includes educators, correctional facility workers and frontline essential workers that are high risk of exposure.
 Stage 2.2 will open after Feb. 1 and will include individuals 65 years and older.
 Currently, only Weiser’s Family Medical Center is carrying and can offer vaccinations. FMC had the storage availability and monitoring necessary to store the vaccines, as well as the capacity of staff available to distribute the vaccine effectively.
 COVID-19 vaccinations are available only by appointment and not by walk-in. Individuals in tiers not yet open are able to schedule their appointment for vaccinations, with appointments for Stage 2.2 already being scheduled.
 Appointments made will allow for a count of how many vaccines will be necessary. Only the Maderna vaccine is available at FMC because of the vaccine’s ease of storage and availability.
 “As we are working through the pandemic and the distribution of the vaccine, we are just asking our community to be patient with us, be understanding that we are taking on a monstrosity of a project for us and a large amount of people that we are trying to get vaccinated,” said FMC Clinic Practice Manager Madora Albertson. “We want to offer the vaccine to those that are wanting it in our community and we will get to it just as soon as we can.”
 After receiving the vaccination, majority of patients have experienced mild side-affects including a sore injection site. Other patients have experienced symptoms including headaches or fever, indicating the immune system is building a protection to the virus.
 Albertson said after receiving her first dose of the vaccine, she did not have any symptoms or side-affects however did experience a headache after receiving the second dose.
 After receiving the first dose, the FMC scheduler will then notify a patient when to receive the second booster dose. After receiving the vaccine, individuals are still encouraged to wear a mask and uphold social distancing protocols as the vaccine is preventative and not a cure.
 Weiser Memorial Hospital will continue to update the community about the COVID-19 vaccination, with updates scheduled every Monday and Thursday. FMC has been receiving a large volume of calls and ask that individuals please be patient. Messages left will be returned.
 Many individuals 65 years and older do not have access to the Internet or social media and the staff at FMC encourages individuals to reach out and help others know the vaccine is available.
 FMC can be reached at 208-549-4424. Questions and inquiries regarding the vaccine and COVID-19 can be found at the Southwest District Health website and the Centers for Disease Control website.

Signal American

18 E. Idaho St.
Weiser, ID 83672
PH: (208) 549-1717
FAX: (208) 549-1718

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