Pine Plains needs local nurses to administer COVID-19 vaccines
PINE PLAINS — Ready to combat the continuance of COVID-19 cases, the Pine Plains Pharmacy plans to keep its partnership with the Pine Plains Central School District (PPCSD) going, as they continue to hold COVID-19 vaccine clinics for the area in 2022.
With Pine Plains resident Kathy Bartles coordinating the clinics and her team of volunteers and nurses poised to administer the vaccines, the pharmacy is on the lookout for qualified local nurses interested in volunteering their services.
Since last February, Bartles said she and her team have been working to arrange COVID-19 clinics throughout the Pine Plains community.
Last May, Bartles reported they administered close to 2,800 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, with a couple thousand more doses administered in the fall.
Almost a year later, Bartles’ vaccination team is comprised of 15 people, some of whom were there when the team originally formed last winter.
Along with support personnel and nurses, Bartles’ team includes people who work sorting residents into different categories at the clinic, depending on what version of the COVID-19 vaccine they’re getting; whether they’re getting their first, second or booster shot; and whether they’re children or adults.
To date, Pine Plains Pharmacy owner and pharmacist Nasir Mahmood said they’re currently offering the Pfizer and Moderna versions of the COVID-19 vaccine in first, second and booster shots.
Around 300 doses are typically administered at each clinic, both to children (ages 5 and up) and adults (ages 12 and up).
In addition to the clinics held around every three weeks at Stissing Mountain Junior/Senior High School, located at 2829 Church St. in Pine Plains (Route 199), Mahmood said they’ve also done clinics at other sites around the region, including at Millbrook and Dutchess Day Schools.
Reflecting on their success getting the community inoculated through these local clinics, Mahmood said, “Obviously we want as many vaccines injections into people’s arms as we can, and we have seen the difference in these clinics. People have come for the first and second doses… These people are being convinced that they have to do this, which is encouraging.”
From her perspective as the coordinator behind the clinics, Bartles said, “It’s very satisfying because there are a lot of older people for whom getting to Poughkeepsie for a clinic or dealing with the appointment software and things like that is pretty intimidating, so it’s been satisfying because we know we’re helping the people who need it who wouldn’t necessarily get some place else easily.”
On top of thanking her team members for their efforts, Bartles gave thanks to Mahmood for his invaluable work in securing and distributing the vaccines.
She also thanked PPCSD Superintendent of Schools Martin Handler and his staff for making arrangements and setting up the clinics at the high school campus.
“Our partnership with the Pine Plains Pharmacy makes these critical vaccines conveniently available to our residents and our students,” Handler said. “We are pleased to offer our facility to support this effort.”
Though the clinics have been running smoothly so far, Mahmood pointed out that each clinic has only a three-hour window in which it can run, during which time those running the clinics must get everyone vaccinated.
“Mostly we’ve been doing OK, but we need help,” Mahmood said. That’s why organizers are reaching out the public now.
Regarding requirements, Mahmood said volunteers are needed who are currently registered as nurses who can spare three hours at the clinics.
Those interested in volunteering should contact Bartles at 518-398-7568 or the Pine Plains Pharmacy at 518-398-5588.
The next Pine Plains COVID-19 vaccine clinic is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 1, from 3 to 6 p.m. in the Stissing Mountain Junior/Senior High School cafeteria, and will offer the Moderna and Pfizer versions of the COVID-19 vaccine and booster shot to children and adults.
For more information, call Pine Plains Pharmacy at 518-398-5588 or go to www.pineplainspharmacy.com.