Highland Medical Center Covid Booster Update

Just over a week ago, I did an interview with Dr. Jennifer Beverage, Chief Medical Officer of the Highland Medical Center on the Pfizer COVID booster shot availability, and HMC’s plans for rolling them out. There have been some important developments since then, and I touched base with her for an update.

“So since the last discussion, the FDA and the CDC have now approved additional boosters from the other COVID vaccines.”

And this fits the timeline for HMC to begin administering these as well?

“Correct, receive your booster six to eight months after your second dose, or six to eight months after your Johnson & Johnson single dose.”

These boosters will be administered differently than the original procedure, where patients went to the Medical Center in ten person blocks.

“So our first COVID Booster clinic will be held on this Saturday, October 30th, at the school parking lot – not at the clinic, but at the school parking lot. It will be drive thru by appointment only. So if you’re interested, please call the clinic.”

“The important things for that day when you get your appointment and come to that time: bring a pen; your COVID card, so that we can update it with your booster information; and ensure that you wear a t shirt, because we’ll be giving you the vaccines while you’re still in your car. We recommend that they bring a mask, so that as we’re having conversation, they can have that mask up to decrease any chance of spreading viruses.”

“There still will be a 15 to 30 minute waiting period for observation, and the traffic will be directed as to where to park and when to leave.”

I understand the need for bringing your card and a mask – but why your own pen?

“Well, number one that helps with containing the spread of any viruses – it is cold and flu season as well as virus. Plus there will be additional paperwork to fill out so they’re able to do that in their car. And, we lose a lot of pens, so we can’t supply them all day.”

I asked for the reasoning behind the different procedure.

“The Moderna COVID Booster is actually half dose of the original, so the vials that previously would vaccinate 10 now do 20, but the storage of the vaccine is still the same.”

“And the spacing, the 10 per hour spacing, was not only for the vial, but just to maintain a six feet social distancing. We are doing the drive thru vaccine clinic to prevent that, so that we can do more vaccines in a shorter amount of time. If each person is in their car, we don’t have to worry about the spacing.”

“For COVID Booster appointments, call the clinic, 468 6400 during office hours Thursday from 8:00 am to 7:00 pm and Friday 8:00 am to 4:00 pm. They’re making an appointment for a time to arrive, because we still have to coordinate, make sure we have enough spaces for individuals to park during that 15 to 30 minute time, as well as account for vaccines. Because currently we have a limited number of these booster vaccines. So after that point, we’ll have to do an additional booster clinic, which, more details to follow.”

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Scott Smith

Scott Smith is the General Manager for Allegheny Mountain Radio and Station Coordinator and News Reporter for WVLS. Scott’s family has deep roots in Highland County. While he did not grow up here, he spent as much time as possible on the family farm, and eventually moved to Highland to continue the tradition, which he still pursues with his cousin. Unfortunately, farming doesn’t pay all the bills, so he has previously taken other jobs to support his farming hobby, including pressman/writer for The Recorder, and Ag Projects Coordinator for The Highland Center. He lives in Hightown with wife Michelle and son Ethan. In his spare time, he wishes he had more spare time, especially to ride his prized Harley-Davidson motorcycle. scott@amrmail.org

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