Door County Medical Center (DCMC) took COVID-19 vaccination clinics to two businesses this week – Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding and N.E.W. Industries – in hopes of reaching more individuals.
DCMC CEO Brian Stephens said the hospital has reached out to several major employers to see whether a clinic would help increase vaccination rates, and those were the two that responded. DCMC is actively seeking other employers or organizations that think an on-site clinic would help.
“These two businesses felt that they have employees who were unable to make our regular clinics due to work or family schedules,” Stephens said. “The last thing we want is for transportation or scheduling to be a roadblock to getting the vaccine. If 8 am to 5 pm for a clinic doesn’t work, we need to hear from you.”
According to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, 57% of adults older than 16 in Door County had received at least one dose of the vaccine before this week’s vaccination clinics. Stephens said that based on the hospital’s internal data, he believed that number was closer to 65% of people older than 20.
Demand at both the hospital and Department of Public Health vaccination clinics has slowed the last two weeks. The hospital will discontinue its mass-vaccination clinics at the end of the month but will continue to seek opportunities for smaller vaccination clinics and outreach to businesses and hesitant populations such as shut-ins and local Hispanic residents. Part of that outreach includes reassuring people there is no cost for the vaccine, and the only information required is a name and date of birth.
Next week, in addition to the Sturgeon Bay Clinic, Public Health is planning a clinic at the Sister Bay fire station on Thursday, April 29, 3-4 pm. If demand calls for it, those hours will be expanded.
Stephens said the hospital has not seen any serious adverse reactions to the vaccine.
“I believe there are maybe another 1,000 people in the community that would be open to receiving the vaccine,” Stephens said. “That would bring us to 69%. So I think 80% is going to be a tall order.”
Stephens said he’s optimistic about the coming months.
“I think when you look at our numbers in Door County, there’s definitely some proof that the reason our numbers are staying reasonable is because of our high rate of vaccination,” he said.