KANSAS CITY, Mo. — There was a lot of smiling people with bandages near GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium on Saturday as Jackson County wraps up its first mega-vaccination event.
The plan was to vaccinate about 6,000 people at that event. Instead, they surpassed that goal by about a thousand appointment-securing people, according to organizers.
Here was the system: a line of vehicles pulls up and the people inside those vehicles who have appointments get the shot. Then they hang out for a few minutes and wait to see if there is any negative reaction. Then people go on their way.
“I saw someone cry she was so grateful to get the vaccine. Someone else didn’t realize that it was just one shot and he said, ‘This is great!'” Dr Stefani Ellison, an emergency physician at Truman Medical Center, said.
Dr. Ellison helped coordinate the about-30 medical students at the event who were trained to give the vaccine. While speaking with FOX4 News she reflected on the past 12 months.
“We really didn’t get a break. And then we had to learn very quickly. So most of what I do, I’m used to doing with evidence-based medicine and knowing exactly what to expect. that was really tough,” Dr. Ellison said.
“We’ve cancelled three cruises now. I don’t know if that’s in our future or not but we’re going to shift and do something wonderful as a family together,” Dr. Ellison said.
“I think the most exciting thing for me is that my parents live here and they got vaccinated. And now we’re having dinner with them. I went out to lunch with my mom. So I’m just taking time to be grateful for the simple things,” Ellison said.
The ease of getting an appointment at the event also motivated people who until recently were on the fence about the vaccine.
“She recently had an experience with a hospital procedure so that kind of made both of us think this was probably a good idea. me as a caregiver,” Tom Ferguson said, referring to his wife who also received the vaccine.
Doses leftover from this event are not considered wasted. Instead, they will be put back into the Jackson County / Truman Medical Center supply and be used quickly at other appointments, Dr. Mark Steele, Executive Chief Medical Officer for Truman Medical Center, said.