Local facilities are close to full vaccinations given

Vincent Marshall
Dodge City Daily Globe
Most local nursing homes and first responders have either distributed or been given access to COVID-19 vaccines.

It has been a little over a month since area facilities began receiving and distributing the COVID-19 vaccine in one form or another.

According to Trinity Manor executive director Marcia Swann, the national average for staff vaccination in nursing homes is 37.5%, and Trinity Manor has reported 62% of its staff and 79% of its residents have received the vaccine after two clinics by Walgreens.

"We still have one more scheduled clinic," said Swann. "To encourage vaccination, Trinity has provided factual information instead of the fake news theories widely available on social media. In addition, we have given ImmUNITY T-shirts to staff receiving the vaccine, highlighting the idea that it takes all of us to knock out COVID.

"We also have had a giveaway drawing for those getting the vaccination. An old adage really applies in this situation, 'Vaccines don’t save lives, vaccinations do.' ”

Swann added she believes Trinity Manor's vaccine rates are higher due to the high toll COVID-19 initially hit the Dodge City community with.

"We are all eager for normal to come back," said Swann. "We are grateful for the hope and protection the vaccine provides.

"As far as side effects, the overwhelming majority had zero side effects other than a sore arm, which is common with any injection. Only two employees missed a day of work, but were fine the next day."

Hill Top House administrator Judy Kregar in Bucklin said 96% of Hill Top's residents have received the vaccine, with 43% of its staff being vaccinated thus far.

For the Kansas Soldier's Home, superintendent Dave Smith said, "We have held three vaccination clinics and all staff and residents were offered the vaccination."

"Any new residents will be offered the vaccine in cooperation with the Ford County Health Department," he said.

Manor of the Plains in Dodge City's parent company, Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America, said it has strongly encouraged both residents and employees to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

"Through the Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care, we have conducted three vaccine clinics at our location and had a participation rate of nearly 100% on the resident side and more than 70% on the employee side," said PMMA regional director of marketing & sales Jenni Jones. "We are pleased to be ahead of the national average for employee participation.

"We have entered into a partnership with Coast Health Services from Cimarron to provide vaccine for new residents, new employees and employees who opted to wait to receive the vaccine on an ongoing basis to ensure our residents and employees are protected from the virus."

For local law enforcement, Ford County Sheriff Bill Carr said the vaccine has been made available to all of the Ford County Sheriff's Office staff by the Ford County Health Department.

"I do not know who all received the vaccine," said Carr.

Dodge City police Chief Drew Francis said the DCPD was offered the vaccine last month.

"They have had the opportunity to receive both of the first two vaccines on the market," said Francis. "I do not know who or how many have chosen to receive the vaccine as it is a personal health decision."

Dodge City fire Chief Ken Spencer said 60% of the city fire department received both shots of the Moderna vaccine.

Ford County fire and EMS Chief Rob Boyd said 30% of the Ford County Fire and EMS staff has received the Moderna vaccine.

To contact the writer, email vmarshall@dodgeglobe.com