Vaccine Clinic Volunteers

Nearly 50 citizens of River Falls volunteered at the vaccine clinic from March through mid June, organized by Freeman Drug at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. They were treated to a thank-you picnic earlier this summer. Photo provided by Freeman Drug

It was during the heat of the pandemic and the beginning of the administration of the COVID-19 vaccine that Freeman Drug collaborated with the University of Wisconsin-River Falls and community members to host a vaccine clinic. 

A handicap accessible, double room near a parking lot was offered up by UW-River Falls to host the volunteer run clinic operating March through mid June. On any given clinic day at any time, between 9 and 11 volunteers would be present, checking patients in, administering vaccines or keeping tabs on those in the 15 minute post dose waiting period.

“This town is amazing,” said Leah Gavin, head pharmacist at Freeman Drug. “We never had to search or beg for volunteers.”

She expressed deep gratitude for the continued hard work of her staff at Freeman drug, many of whom volunteered outside of pharmacy hours for the clinic, and the nearly 50 vaccinated River Falls citizens who volunteered their time to provide a total of 5,385 total doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. 

“It’s a lot of work,” said Gavin. “But believe me, it’s worth it.” 

Though the clinic is no longer running, Freeman Drug is currently offering Pfizer vaccines. 12 to 17-year-olds, with parental consent, are eligible for the vaccine. As an incentive, Freeman Drug has been giving out Dairy Queen gift cards to that age group upon receiving the vaccine. 

In a recent press release, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services stated support for "the recommendation that some immunocompromised people are recommended and eligible to get an additional dose of Pfizer (ages 12 and up) or Moderna (ages 18 and up) COVID-19 vaccine following a completed series."

Those eligible, according to the WDHS, for a third shot include those who have

  • Been receiving active cancer treatment for tumors or cancers of the blood.

  • Received an organ transplant and are taking medicine to suppress the immune system.

  • Received a stem cell transplant within the last two years or are taking medicine to suppress the immune system.

  • Moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (such as DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome).

  • Advanced or untreated HIV infection.

  • Active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids, alkylating agents, antimetabolites, transplant-related immunosuppressive drugs, cancer chemotherapeutic agents classified as severely immunosuppressive, tumor-necrosis (TNF) blockers, or other drugs that may suppress your immune response.

Freeman Drug will be working to accommodate immunocompromised patients looking to receive the booster shot, which should be administered no sooner than 28 days after completing the primary vaccine series.

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