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Taney County Health Department nurses work to get the vaccine ready for residents.

The Taney County Health Department (TCHD)  has increased their COVID-19 vaccination efforts by opening a new clinic facility.

 In a need to accommodate a larger number of residents, the TCHD moved their Branson vaccination clinics to the old Vanity Fair Factory Outlet building at the Branson Meadows Shoppes last week and started taking clinic patients on Monday,  March 15, according to Taney County Health Department Director Lisa Marshall.

“This building is huge,” said Marshall.  “We are so happy to be here. We were really super appreciative of our partnership with the Branson schools and  Cox Health. We were all getting enough vaccines that we were outgrowing the space for both of us, which was a good problem to have. We decided that this location would be a good solution so we could expand out. We can get more people served here because it is larger and having another location option for people to go to is always a good thing. We are expanding access and growing our services by moving out here.”

According to Marshall, the new clinic facility will be a semi-permanent one for the next few months to handle the vaccination clinics for Taney County residents. 

“We intend to do the bulk of our vaccinations here,” said Marshall. “We always shift our plans to serve our community. We do intend to be here for at least a couple months to be sure we are meeting the needs of vaccinations for our residents across the county.  For the foreseeable future we have such a demand for vaccines that people are needing clinics like these. This is pretty centrally located facility and so this is where we will be for several months”

The TCHD still plans on holding vaccination clinics at their Forsyth location as well as this new facility, stated Marshall.

“We feel like these clinics are a really awesome service that we can still provide in Forsyth,” said Marshall. “We can meet people’s needs, especially for those who it may be difficult for them to get to Branson. Both clinic locations have been a great success. We are moving a couple of our clinics that are coming up to this new facility; these were going to be held at the Branson activity center. If someone got their first round and the location has changed for their second round, we have sent out texts and emails to let them know. However, if anybody has questions they can call us to double check.” 

According to Marshall, the TCHD team has been transitioning into their new space extremely well. 

“We realized very quickly that our team is awesome,” said Marshall. “They are flexible, they are adaptable, (and) they jumped right into this. It was seamless and we thought you know things are running really smoothly here and so let’s just move those previously scheduled Branson clinics here.”

The new facility gives enough space to social distance and allows much more room for nurses to observe patients in the waiting area after the vaccine is administered, according to Marshall. The TCHD has set up the building with stations designed to keep a consistent flow as people make their way through the various stations of the clinic. 

“We have stations that run the perimeter of the room,” said Marshall. “It is a very intuitive flow, we feel. We have staff that check people in and make sure they are on the list or not. If they are not on the list we give them the appropriate paperwork to get them on the list. We do a health screening (and) we take everyone’s temperature before they enter the building. After they enter they run the perimeter of the room to the different stations (and) we get all of their paperwork taken care of. If they have insurance we get that information from them, then we get them vaccinated. “Then we get them to wait for 15-30 minutes in the observation area in the middle of the room.”

Marshall explained, the different observation times are based  on a person’s health screening answers and their allergic reaction history.

“The 15 minutes is for individuals that don’t have any reason they would need to be monitored for longer,” said Marshall. “Folks that have had allergic reactions or have certain medical conditions we would need them to be monitored for a bit longer. ‘Safety first’ is our motto here. We just want to make sure everyone is in a safe environment and that we are giving the best clinical care possible.”

As more tiers open up the health department will look into opening up clinics for times during evenings and weekends, according to Marshall. 

“I don’t want to speak for other organizations but I know we have done some weekend clinics and we have had one evening clinic that was pretty well attended,” said Marshall. “We have also seen some of our partners doing weekend clinics as well. It just kind of depends on the need, as we move through the tiers and different phases there are different needs for those groups. 

“Knowing that Phase 2 is coming up, we are going to have more folks who are working. We will probably see some of those evening and weekend clinics pop up for availability.”

For more, visit taneycohealth.org/covid19-vaccine/ or call the TCHD Forsyth office at 417-546-4725 or the TCHD Branson office at 417-334-4544.

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