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Booster clinics, contact tracing needs delay vaccine clinics for children at Lincoln County Health Department

Iron Mountain VA Medical Center

There’s a lot on Jennifer Johnson’s plate right now. Johnson is the immunization lead and public health nurse for the Lincoln County Health Department.

In pre-pandemic times, there was enough work to keep staff busy.

On top of that work, now the department is working its way through administering booster doses of the COVID vaccine as well as flu shots.

The high number of COVID cases in the county isn’t helping right now either. Contract tracing is time consuming process.

“I would say that’s a major part of the reason, is that the disease counts are high, very high in Lincoln County and we’re spending a lot our resources doing that type of work versus [holding] more clinics,” said Johnson.

Once staff can find the time, Johnson says it will also take a bit of time to get the staff trained on this vaccine.

“We know how important it is. It’s a new age group and with that there’s different storage and handling with the vaccine and different amounts, doses. All of that logistics is very, very important,” she said.

Johnson stressed that just because they’re not able to do any vaccine clinics for kids right at this moment, doesn’t mean it’s not important to get your kids vaccinated.

She says there’s many benefits to getting your children vaccinated.

It gives your child the best protection against the virus, helps protect others from COVID-19, and it helps keep them in school.

“They are able to remain in person school is they would become exposed. They wouldn’t necessarily have to leave school unless they were sick,” said Johnson.

She encourages you to talk to health care professionals about questions you may have.

While the Lincoln County Health Department is not doing pediatric vaccinations against COVID yet, other providers are.

Visit vaccine.gov to find an appointment near you.

Nearly 1 million kids have been vaccinated against COVID-19 since the it became available to them earlier this month.