Fill out survey to get in line for COVID-19 vaccination in Pratt County

Jennifer Stultz
Pratt Tribune
COVID-19 vaccines have arrived in Pratt for health professionals. The general public is encouraged to go online to fill out this survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/T2J2V9R to get signed up for a vaccine when it becomes available.

A limited amount of long-awaited COVID-19 vaccines have arrived in Pratt County, and these have been given to front-line hospital staff. According to Pratt County Health Department Director Darcie Van Der Vyver, to get on a list to receive a coronavirus vaccination when they become available to the general public, people need to go online.

“If you are interested in receiving a COVID-19 vaccine, please complete this survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/T2J2V9R,” Van Der Vyver said. “Once we receive the vaccines, we will call patients to set up appointments based on the information collected in the survey.”

Van Der Vyver said the survey was also available at the Pratt County website, https://www.prattcounty.org/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=50. Staff members at the Pratt Public library offer assistance for those needing access to a computer to complete the survey and will have the survey readily available.

Van Der Vyver said, just like all other health departments across the state, there was no way to control how many vaccines Pratt County would get, nor when they would get them.

“I can’t have 3,000 people calling me and telling me they need on the vaccine list,” Van Der Vyver said. “That is why we set up the survey, so people could fill that out with initial information, and then we can call them, in order of allocation guidelines.”

While some vaccines have been received in Pratt County for medical staff, Van Der Vyver said she wanted to emphasize that none are available for the public at this time.

“It may take awhile yet,” Van Der Vyver said. “We have to go by federal guidelines just like everybody else.”

Andie Dean, Communications Director for Pratt Regional Medical Center, said that all public immunizations would happen through the county health department and not through the hospital at this time.

“ After 9 long months that have been filled with worry, fear, resilience and sadness, last week was different, last week was filled with hope,” Dean said. “The first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine arrived and our first staff members were vaccinated, all in the span of a few hours.”

Dean said that PRMC received an allocation of just over 100 doses on December 17, which does not come close to covering all 373 employees.

“Please be extra careful this holiday season, as immunizations will not be available for the general population until into the New Year.  We strongly encourage our community to complete the Pratt County Health Department survey.”

Dr. Eric Clarkson at Pratt Family Practice, who was vaccinated with the first Pfizer COVID-19 shots available in Pratt last Friday, said that the shot gave him hope for the future.

“I am so excited and somewhat emotional to get my first dose of the Pfizer vaccine,” he said. “This is the pathway out of this pandemic! This is the beginning of the end for this terrible virus. With this shot I am a step closer to  putting my kids to bed at night without wondering if I’m giving them COVID. I am a step closer to being able to hug my patients again without the fear of giving or getting COVID. This is how our community, our churches, our schools and our families get back to normal.”

Van Der Vyver said that with the holidays here and family members traveling, it was of uptmost importance to continue to follow CDC guidelines of wearing masks, washing hands and social distancing.

Active COVID-19 case numbers continue to climb in Pratt with 39 new cases reported on Monday, December 21. There are now 648 postive cases recorded in Pratt County with 17 deaths and 609 recovered. Categories seeing growth are all across the age spectrum from 10 years to 74 years of age from the most recent evaluation statistics.