CHISHOLM — A family-owned pharmacy dating back more than a century, is among local outlets administering COVID-19 vaccinations on the Iron Range.
“The difficulty comes to reach people in their 80s, 90s and 70s who need to get vaccinated, and are not online,” Pharmacist Alida Casey of Casey Drug in Chisholm told the Tribune Press on Thursday.
Casey said the pharmacy learned that it will be receiving 100 doses of the newly approved Johnson & Johnson one-dose vaccine, and is also receiving weekly doses of the Moderna vaccine. The Moderna vaccine requires two doses.
Following state guidelines, they are able to administer the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to people 65 and over, plus childcare workers and educators, and healthcare workers, Casey said.
The Moderna vaccines are available to people 65 and over and healthcare workers. A vaccine clinic is being scheduled for Casey Drug on Monday.
Both vaccinations are open to Minnesota residents meeting the age and occupation requirements.
In order to reach more of the 65 and over population, Casey Drug has also reached out to senior apartment complexes across the Range, offering to do on-site vaccinations.
Since January, the pharmacy has administered between 800 to 900 doses of the Moderna vaccine to people 65 and over.
“It’s been really good,” Casey said. “People are just so happy to get the vaccine.”
Alida Casey and her brother, Aden Casey, who is also a pharmacist at Casey Drug along with Aden’s wife, Molly, who is an RN, have been administering the vaccines.
In recent weeks the Chisholm City Council approved use of the Chisholm Senior Citizen Center at 319 West Lake St. as a vaccination site. Casey Drug has also administered some vaccinations at its pharmacy at 121 West Lake St.
“When you open a vile, you have to use it that day,” Alida said.
The senior citizen center has worked out nicely for day long vaccination events, while allowing adequate room for social distancing, she added.
So, when will vaccines open up to other age groups and demographics?
Casey Drug has been inundated with requests from people in their 50s and 60s to find out the answer to that question.
“We don’t have the inside scoop,” Alida said. “We get it on the news, the same way you do. We would know when everyone else knows when the department of health changes their criteria.”
To schedule a vaccine or a COVID-19 rapid test, you can go to caseydrugpharmacy.com, or call 218-254-3318.
More information on COVID 19 vaccinations is also available on the state website at: https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/vaccine/vaxplansumm.html