Roden Smith to host Clovis vaccine clinic
Last updated 1/17/2021 at 4:57pm
CLOVIS — A point of dispensing, or POD, for the COVID-19 vaccine will open on Monday at the former Raintree Grocery Store.
Roden Smith, in partnership with the city of Clovis emergency management, Clovis Family Healthcare, and other local public health entities, will host the vaccine clinic.
Vaccines will be available to New Mexicans who are part of Phase 1B, as well as any remaining from Phase 1A. Included in Phase 1B are individuals 75 years and older, those who are 16 and older with underlying medical conditions that cause greater risk, frontline essential workers, and other vulnerable populations.
Dan Heerding, director of Emergency Management for the city of Clovis, said vaccinations will begin at 8 a.m. and run until 6 p.m. or until that day’s supply runs out. Patients will need to register through Roden Smith’s vaccine site beforehand at rodensmithpharmacy.com/covid-19-updates .
In order to put on this event, Micah Lansford, owner and pharmacist in charge at Roden Smith, had to work with officials at the state level to secure more vaccine doses than had been planned for Clovis.
“I have been appealing to anybody that I can appeal to at the state-level that we need more vaccines; 300 isn’t going to cut it. We’re vaccinating at (a rate of) a dose every 5 minutes here at the pharmacy,” Lansford said.
In an effort to secure vaccines, Lansford spoke to contacts at the Department of Health until New Mexico National Guard Col. Fred Ginsburg reached out to him.
“I said we could give 500 doses a day if we could get them over here because I don’t want our residents in eastern New Mexico having to drive to Texas to get it or drive to other parts of the state,” Lansford said.
Ginsburg was able to help Lansford secure 2,500 Moderna vaccine doses, and the plan is to provide up to 500 doses per day at the former grocery store.
“We’re going to take care of the community and get vaccines out a lot faster than what it would’ve been,” Lansford said.
While the state’s website notifies people when they are eligible to be vaccinated, Roden Smith has a separate scheduling site to eliminate crowds or long wait times at the facility. Lansford said staff is looking into collaborating with the state website so they can better reach Curry County residents who have already registered through the state.
During its Thursday COVID-19 update, the NMDOH reported the state had received over 153,000 vaccine doses, administered over 108,000 doses, and had more than 429,000 New Mexicans register on its site.
The first round of vaccines for New Mexicans included in Phase 1B began this past week. Roden Smith Pharmacy provided vaccinations to 300 1B locals by Friday, and had vaccinated residents at longterm care facilities in Clovis the week before.
Among the locals who received the vaccine last week was Curry County Commissioner Chet Spear.
“I had signed up for the New Mexico register and never got any calls, and I’m high risk,” Spear said. “I’m 78 years old and I have underlying, pre-existing, health issues that make me high risk. I heard that Roden Smith was having a sign-up so my wife got online and signed us both up.”
He was called back by the pharmacy the next day with a time he could go in to be vaccinated. Spear said he had been registered on the state’s vaccine site for nearly three weeks and had not heard from anyone. He said while at the pharmacy, he was asked to fill out a form and answer general questions about allergies, then waited for a few minutes until he was called into the immunization room.
“The shot was painless, absolutely painless; I didn’t even feel it,” Spear said, noting that he did have a small bruise at the administration site but that it was not painful.
Barbara Norris, 82, went with her sister and their husbands to Amarillo for the vaccine out of concerns they’d wait weeks for a vaccine in New Mexico.
Norris said her sister had been calling the Amarillo Civic Center consecutively for a few days when she heard it was set up for vaccine administrations the week prior. Last Monday the Civic Center confirmed it had doses available and so the group headed over.
Norris described a similar process to Spear and noted a brief wait. Norris said the whole process took between 30 and 45 minutes, during which they were almost constantly on the move, and none of the party have reported ill effects in the days following the dose.
“It was the most organized; it just couldn’t have been any better or any nicer,” Norris said. “They were all so professional and so kind. There were so many people, but it was not congested and we didn’t wait.”
Clovis Mayor Mike Morris said he hopes local efforts will show state officials that the area can handle more doses and that the community wants to participate.
“We have the right people working on this,” Morris said.