01.03.2024

New Freezer Helps Provider Give Vaccine Boosters Without Having Residents Leave Home

Columbine Health recently purchased a refrigerator and freezer to add to their on-campus pharmacy. The freezer is capable of dropping so low in temperature that it can keep the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

After The White House and the FDA announced booster shots would be necessary to further combat COVID-19, one older adult living provider in Colorado says they are in prime shape to provide boosters to hundreds of residents with ease. Columbine Health Systems in Northern Colorado serves Fort Collins, Greeley, Loveland and Windsor with various levels of care.

Now, thanks to an investment into proper refrigeration, Columbine can properly administer third doses of COVID-19 vaccinations without their residents having to leave their homes.

“March 23rd we had the refrigerator, the freezer and the vaccine,” said Yvonne Myers, Health Systems Director for Columbine Health. “When the boosters started being talked about, we were in a good spot.”

Myers said the company wanted to purchase the freezer so they could keep their own doses of the vaccinations, with Johnson & Johnson remaining in the refrigerator, while avoiding the concerns caused during the first round of vaccinations.

“We had to bus people in. And people had to drive. And, we had to put face shields on, test everybody, do all the screening to be sure they could all be mixed together. And we started mixing people when it was the time not to so they could get the vaccine,” Myers said.

With the announcement of booster shots becoming necessary, Myers said Columbine is positioned well to make the process easy.

“We’ll be able to have Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson. So, whatever you may need, what you might have, what your requirements are, whether you’re immunocompromised or getting your third booster shot we can give you what you need. And it is a game changer for us,” Myers said.

Residents like Aaffien Schafer told CBS4’s Dillon Thomas the addition of the freezer will make further vaccinations simplistic.

“It’s a lovely community. We are all the same age,” Schafer said. “For us old people it was a really good thing. So, if we could get a booster the same way it would be great. It’s a very comfortable feeling.”

Myers said the company was now working on securing more doses of all three FDA-approved vaccinations so they could begin the process of applying booster shots.

“I’m excited that our residents will be able to get the booster, because I really think it will protect them,” Myers said. “(We can) catch all the residents where they live, right where they are. The convenience of that will make it easier, quicker and much safer for them.”

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