Local vaccine clinic results from over shipment
Last updated 2/16/2021 at 8:06am
RITZVILLE – Local residents on a waiting list for the COVID-19 vaccination received telephone calls to come and get the shot when an over shipment of the Pfizer vaccine resulted in a spontaneous clinic set up at Hometown Family Medicine Wednesday, Feb. 10.
"Whitman County got about twice the amount they requested, so Dr. Sackmann's office is doing a 200-person clinic with the Pfizer vaccine," Adams County Health Department spokesperson Karen Potts said. "Whitman County was planning some mass clinics, but they can only use so much, so they were looking for help in using it, to ensure nothing would go to waste. If they use what they bought, they may have access to more next week."
Potts said both the hospital and clinic in Othello were offered the vaccine, but because they didn't have the storage facility, they declined.
"Whitman County is lucky. The veterinary school/facility there has a great deal of storage for the Pfizer vaccine that requires the ultra-cold storage temperature," Potts said.
Staff members from Hometown Family Medicine went to pick up the vaccine from Washington State University.
Dr. Charles 'Marty' Sackmann of Hometown Family Medicine said by WSU storing it, they made access to the vaccine much easier for providers.
"The storage requirements of the Pfizer vaccine as it currently is, and it was research-approved to be, has to be refrigerated at 70 degrees below. Given that, there's only a few facilities that can handle that for any length of time and in any volume. WSU stepped up immediately and said hey, we can do this. The advantage to that is, they take the burden off the provider giving it," Sackmann said.
One of Sackmann's first customers for the vaccine came in to the clinic wearing a WSU jacket. Daniel Hein and his wife Leslie have two grandkids at WSU.
Sackmann, a University of Washington alumnus, joked with Hein about the rivalry between the two schools.
"Honestly, WSU really stepped up to the plate – however hard that is for me to say, as a Husky," Sackmann said. "The Pfizer vaccine is a great vaccine. Most of what I got is the Moderna one, which is the four-weeks-apart one. With the Pfizer vaccine, there's only a three-week turnaround time. As to side effects such as swollen arms and that sort of thing, they're roughly the same. There might be a little more with the Moderna one, actually. But the three-week compression time and all that, if the storage is removed from the table, guess what. It's much easier to get, so God bless the Cougs."
"This was an act of cooperation outside of the normal process for this vaccine delivery system," Potts said. "This type of cooperative effort is such a great thing to provide to more of our Adams County residents with an opportunity to get vaccinated sooner than later."
Potts updated the vaccine allocation for the week starting February 15. She said Washington state providers have requested 446,850 doses, and will receive 206,125 doses from the federal government.