Mountain Family administers over 900 COVID-19 vaccines in on-site vaccination tour through Roaring Fork schools
Second run to begin in early December
Mountain Family Health Centers data shows the group administered 925 COVID-19 vaccination doses across 12 Roaring Fork School District pop-up clinics in November.
Following FDA approval of the Pfizer vaccine for ages 5-11, the provider and district teamed up for a second tour for school community members, focusing on students and their families. First, second and booster doses were administered. A second round is planned for December, scheduled in line with the time second doses should be administered following the first round.
“Our goal is always just to increase access for families that choose to take advantage of it,” Roaring Fork School District Chief of Student and Family Services Anna Cole said. “We know that in a rural community, because of challenges of transportation and work schedules and knowing our families, especially our lower-income families, it’s super hard to get your kid an appointment to take care of routine medical care.”
According to the data released by Mountain Family, 383 of the doses were administered to children 5-11. The most common age of recipients was 8, with 65 receiving the vaccine.
“We realized how important it was, but we didn’t realize how many would be interested in it,” Mountain Family Health Centers Site Practice Director Storie Marchant said. “I think we’ve brought a lot of people out of the woodwork with it being approved for 5-11, because they’re like, ‘Wow, OK, kids are already getting their other vaccinations. So if they’re releasing this vaccine for kids that are 5-11, this is something we need to be doing, right?'”
The highest age indicated was a 93-year-old, given on Nov. 12, meaning it was given at either Glenwood Springs or Roaring Fork high schools. Among the shots given, 477 were given to patients above the age of 18, meaning the shot recipients were nearly 50% school aged, 50% above.
Only 18 of the shots administered overall were marked as second doses, and 453 were marked as boosters. That leaves 454 first doses administered across all ages.
The data, parsed by date given but not location, shows that 260 shots were administered on Nov. 19, where a morning clinic was held at Glenwood Springs Elementary School and an afternoon clinic was held at Crystal River Elementary School. On Nov. 16, 219 doses were administered between Riverview School and Basalt Elementary School. Marchant said that more than 200 of those shots were given in Basalt.
“It was phenomenal,” Marchant said. “They brought down big groups of classrooms with all of their consent forms, and we funneled all the kids in. … A lot of the kids were braver in front of their friends than when they have their mom or dad there saying, ‘You have to get it.'”
The tour came as new COVID-19 cases reached rates not seen since mid-January. The private K-8 Ross Montessori School in Carbondale is experiencing an outbreak that accumulated 61 positive cases by Nov. 17, the highest total from a single location in Garfield County since the pandemic began. According to the latest Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment data, 50 of those positive cases are among students.
Mountain Family will host a second round at each of the 12 schools in December three weeks after the initial in-school date in November. The three-week period is the suggested period between first and second doses.
Students 5 and older are eligible for the shots. Any student under the age of 18 must receive parental permission to get a vaccine shot at one of the pop-up clinics. Appointments or IDs are not required, and the shots are free of charge, funded by a grant.
The clinics are focused on students and their families but are open to the community on a case-by-case situation. Cole suggested reaching out to the individual school to see if they are allowing community members to receive their shots or reaching out to her directly at 970-384-6001 or email@example.com.
For upcoming clinic dates and more information, visit MountainFamily.org/school-vaccine-clinics/.
Reporter Rich Allen can be reached at 970-384-9131 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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