For polio survivor, Nettie Cherrington, receiving the Covid-19 vaccine was something that was very important to her. The Fayette native and retired administrative assistant from Central Methodist University (CMU) was among some 211 people who received the Moderna vaccine at an event held at the college by Fitzgibbon Family Health, Fitzgibbon Hospital, Howard County Health Department, Howard County Ambulance and CMU.
In 1951, Cherrington suffered from polio at the age of 16 and was paralyzed for three months. Doctors didn’t think she would walk again. While Covid-19 disease caused a different pandemic nearly 40 years later than that of polio, the overwhelming fear of contracting a life-changing virus is similar.
“I made sure to get my kids the polio vaccine as soon as it was available, because I had experienced it. If you have ever experienced anything like I did, there would be no second thoughts about the vaccine. Because having this (Covid-19) is going to be much worse than anything you will ever experience from the shot,” said Cherrington. “I have a granddaughter who is a doctor and a daughter-in-law who is a nurse. They were very anxious for me to get signed up so that I could receive the vaccine.”
While Cherrington, now an octogenarian, was paralyzed for three months and underwent rehabilitation for another year afterwards, she was excited to land a job working at CMU. She retired last year after 41 years working at the college, located in Howard County.
It is anticipated that Fitzgibbon Family Health in Fayette will receive regular shipments of Moderna vaccine for administration in Howard County. Fitzgibbon Family Health is a certified Rural Health Clinic, which is a safety net provider to ensure access to healthcare in otherwise underserved areas. It is part of the Fitzgibbon Hospital family of clinics which also includes sites in Marshall, Brunswick and Slater.
Fitzgibbon Hospital in Marshall has been named to one of the state’s “high-throughput” hospital consortiums and will receive 1,200 doses of vaccine twice during the month of February. The expectation of these high-throughput providers is to administer those doses, either independently or through collaboration, within seven days. The independent, not-for-profit, 501c3 hospital serves a seven-county area, including Howard County.
Cherrington received her vaccine at the first of what will be many events in the area. Anyone wishing to receive the vaccine can go online to www.fitzgibbon.org/preregister to have their name added to the list. Those without internt access can call a dedicated voice mail line and follow the directions: 660-831-3783. When the caller’s eligibility phase is initiated by the state, they will receive a call for an appointment at the next event. No call-backs nor confirmations will occur prior to the appointment scheduling.
Cherrington wants everyone to know how important it is to receive the vaccine and also how convenient it is to receive the vaccine at a Fitzgibbon Hospital/Fitzgibbon Family Health planned event.
“I sure wish the television would show what happened here rather than what they seem to show. All I see on TV are the long lines. All I had to do when I got here was move from one station to the next. This couldn’t have been a better setup, and the people here are wonderful,” said Cherrington. “There is no way to get through a pandemic like this without everybody doing their part.”
To learn more about vaccine events and eligibility phases, visit www.mostopscovid.com