Local residents age 80 and up get shots
Sam Klomhaus – Enterprise Staff Writer
Friday, January 29, 2021
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Enterprise photos by Sam Klomhaus 

Miriam Skertich, right, a retired nurse volunteering with the Park County Health Department, administers a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to Shields Valley resident Malinda Jones Thursday at the Shane Lalani Center for the Arts. Jones said once she’s fully immunized and the COVID-19 situation calms down, she’s going to visit her granddaughter in Connecticut. “Thank God for FaceTime,” Jones said.

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Health Department staff and volunteers help administer COVID-19 vaccine doses to residents ages 80 and up Thursday at the Shane Center.

The Park County Health Department vaccinated about 140 residents ages 80 and up Thursday at a vaccine clinic in the Shane Lalani Center for the Arts.

Bob and Nancy Bunnigan, of Livingston, said they were very relieved as they waited in the clinic to make sure there weren’t any adverse effects after receiving their shots.

“It’s about time,” Nancy, 81, said. “We’ve been waiting a while.”

Health Department Director Alex Baukus, Public Health Nurse Anna Buckley and volunteer Miriam Skertich administered the vaccinations.

Malinda Jones, an 80-year-old Shields Valley resident, said receiving the vaccine was “one of the few advantages of being 80.”

The clinic was held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday. Those chosen to be vaccinated were picked at random.

The people who were vaccinated will receive their second shots in four weeks.

Ann MacDonald, 89, of Livingston, said she felt really good about receiving her first vaccine dose. After she’s fully vaccinated, MacDonald said she’ll “carry on as usual.”

Park County is in Phase 1B of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, which includes those age 70 and above, those with certain chronic health conditions that put them at higher risk for COVID-19 and those in high risk groups such as Native Americans.

The Park County Health Department is prioritizing people age 80 and up for the first part of the Phase 1B rollout, according to Park County Health Officer Laurel Desnick.

Currently, Phase 1B vaccine demand greatly outweighs the supply in Park County, with the Health Department and Livingston HealthCare receiving limited doses of the vaccine each week.