Delta, CO (January 26, 2021) – As providers around Delta County gear up to roll out the COVID-19 vaccine, Delta County Memorial Hospital (DCMH) is excited to begin providing vaccinations for community members 70 years and older.
Last Friday DCMH hosted its first COVID-19 vaccination clinic, and with the help of frontline health care workers at DCMH, the team administered 300 total vaccinations to community members. That number is on top of the already 893 vaccines that have been administered by DCMH.
“This first large community COVID vaccination clinic was a great success,” said Jacque Davis, Director of Marketing, Communications, and Public Relations for DCMH. “It’s an exciting time to be able to start providing vaccines to those folks who are most at risk. As we continue our vaccination efforts moving forward, we ask for patience and understanding from the community as we do our best to swiftly and efficiently distribute the vaccine.”
For 89-year-old Delta County resident, Virgil Spencer, saying yes to the vaccine was simple.
“There isn’t anything wrong with [the vaccine], and it didn’t hurt,” said Spencer. “I’ve gotten all of my flu shot this year – I should be good for another 100 years.”
The vaccination rollout is part of a county-wide effort to vaccinate Coloradans age 70 and older for Phase 1A and 1B of the Colorado Department of Health and Environment’s (CDPHE) COVID-19 vaccination distribution plan. Community members can sign up for the vaccine by pre-registering on the Delta County Health Department’s website at deltacounty.com/COVID-19.
Once registered, those people are placed on a COVID-19 vaccine waitlist. The list will then be available to vaccine providers in Delta County who will contact community members to schedule an appointment for the vaccine.
Currently, there is a high interest and demand for the COVID-19 vaccine in Delta County, and DCMH is proud to be offering it. Healthcare staff at DCMH have been working hard to implement a safe and efficient plan for the vaccine.
Carol Steele, a Delta County resident and cancer survivor, was among those who decided to get vaccinated during last Friday’s clinic.
“It seemed like [getting the vaccine was] the right thing to do and like something I needed to do; not just for myself but for my family,” said Steele.
In addition to vaccinations, on January 21 DCMH also started administering monoclonal antibody intravenous infusions to help treat cases of COVID-19. This treatment is comprised of synthetic antibodies that act to reduce the COVID virus’s ability to get into the cell and ability to replicate.
“At Delta Hospital we are very excited to be among the first of only several hospitals on the Western Slope offering preventative treatments for patients with a new diagnosis of COVID who are at a high risk for disease progression,” said Sara Knutson, M.D., Pulmonologist and Medical Planning Director for the DCMH Incident Command Team. “The monoclonal antibody infusion is a treatment which has shown promising benefits in early studies to reduce viral load and the likelihood of needing hospital admission for COVID.”
The treatment must be administered within 10 days after the onset of symptoms in a patient with a positive test for COVID before there is a need for any increased oxygen support. It is only available to patients meeting criteria for severe disease risk: age 65 and older, diabetes, significant primary lung, cardiac or renal disease, other immunocompromised states, and, for those that are 55 and older, those with HTN or obesity.
For COVID patients interested in this treatment and who meet the criteria, Dr. Knutson encourages patients to contact their primary or urgent care provider for consideration as soon as possible after a COVID diagnosis.
Moving forward, DCMH will continue working with the Delta County Health Department and other providers in the county to ensure a safe and efficient vaccination process for community members and continued support for COVID recovery.
“There is a very present optimism and excitement that can be felt in the community right now,” said Davis. “I think we are all working together to keep each other safe and the vaccine has sparked a sense of hope – which is something we can all use right now.”
To sign-up for the vaccine and for more information, please visit deltacounty.com/COVID-19.