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’People are very relieved’: Northwestern Medicine Woodstock Hospital offers vaccine at first clinic on Friday

Bob and Sandy Bradshaw, of Woodstock, are an active, social couple.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Sandy Bradshaw, 77, played golf and bowled, and Bob, 81, liked to play pickleball in his free time. Both were avid churchgoers.

“We’re the type of people that could go out four times a week for dinner,” Sandy Bradshaw said.

But now, with coronavirus, everything’s been at a standstill, which is why the Bradshaws were excited Friday to get the COVID-19 vaccine through a clinic at Northwestern Medicine Woodstock Hospital.

Friday was the first day of vaccines at the Northwestern Medicine Woodstock clinic, with more slated for 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday and next Friday. Vaccines are being administered by appointment only.

Lori Sullivan, a chief nursing executive at Northwestern Medicine Woodstock Hospital, said it ran smoothly Friday, and they have been tweaking little things here and there to increase efficiency.

About 130 people were vaccinated Friday, and Sullivan said they want to have triple that amount Monday. More days will be scheduled for clinics as more vaccines become available to the hospital.

Woodstock resident Sandra Bradshaw prepares to receive the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine from nurse Gina Manon on Jan. 29, 2021, at Northwestern Medicine Woodstock Hospital.

Woodstock resident Sandra Bradshaw prepares to receive the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine from nurse Gina Manon on Jan. 29, 2021, at Northwestern Medicine Woodstock Hospital. (Northwestern Medicine/)

“We’ll just keep working as quickly as we can to get through everybody,” Sullivan said. “It is a matter of having patience.”

Administering the COVID-19 vaccine is a complicated process, Sullivan said. People need to be registered, set up for an appointment, and the vaccine has to be set up in a very specific way.

In addition, these vaccines are coming from the health department, which makes the process a little different from some other vaccine clinics.

Northwestern is sending out invitations to get vaccinated on a rolling basis by age for those 65 and older over the next several weeks, according to its website. To be invited, one must be an established Northwestern Medicine patient, with invitations coming through patients’ My NM portals.

To administer the vaccines, Sullivan said, Northwestern is working in conjunction with the McHenry County Department of Health and following the state’s guidelines on who is eligible at what time.

When people register for an appointment, they are given all the information they need, such as what to wear, where to park, where they can get into the building and what to expect. Because of social distancing requirements, more than one visitor isn’t allowed. One person is allowed to come with the person if they need assistance.

Pharmacist Erick Borkowski prepares a dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine Jan. 29, 2021, at Northwestern Medicine Woodstock Hospital.

Pharmacist Erick Borkowski prepares a dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine Jan. 29, 2021, at Northwestern Medicine Woodstock Hospital. (Northwestern Medicine/)

Sullivan said it’s been very exciting to see people getting vaccinated.

“People are very relieved,” Sullivan said. “We’ve been thanking people for coming in, and more than the majority of them have said, ‘No, thank you for doing this.’”

People are so happy, they were practically “dancing through the lines” Friday, Sullivan said.

Sandy Bradshaw, called the experience “really, really awesome.”

“I didn’t even feel the shot,” she said.

The Bradshaws said a leading factor in them deciding to get the shot is their age.

“Most of us are in pretty good shape, health-wise, but we still believe we should have the shot, so we got it,” she said.

Bob Bradshaw, also had a good experience getting the shot. As a former Woodstock High School guidance counselor and head football coach, he now wants to see more teachers get vaccinated.

“I think it would open the schools up and I think that’s really important,” he said. “But I wouldn’t want to go back in the classroom unless I had the COVID-19 shot.”

Woodstock residents Bob Bradshaw and Sandra Bradshaw received their COVID-19 vaccinations at the same time on Jan. 29, 2021, at Northwestern Medicine Woodstock Hospital.

Woodstock residents Bob Bradshaw and Sandra Bradshaw received their COVID-19 vaccinations at the same time on Jan. 29, 2021, at Northwestern Medicine Woodstock Hospital. (Northwestern Medicine/)

Sandy Bradshaw agrees.

“Our education staff needs to be prioritized,” she said. “They’re essential workers.”

The McHenry County Department of Health plans is working to administer second doses to the county’s Phase 1a populations, and then hopes to expand Phase 1b vaccinations to include teachers in the third or fourth week of February, depending on vaccine availability, it said in a news release.

As different activities start opening back up, Bob Bradshaw says he’ll feel more comfortable doing them.

Still, the husband and wife are planning on staying careful about going out in the near future. Bob Bradshaw said he worries about the rest of his family.

“It’s a lot to think about,” he said.

But they still plan on keeping themselves occupied: Sandy Bradshaw, for example, goes for walks with a friend and has been cooking at home. And they have each other.

“We do get along,” Sandy Bradshaw said, laughing. “And I love working in my home.”

Source: The Daily Chronicle

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