The Osage County Health Department set up a small vaccine clinic Tuesday in Fairfax, as they continue to work on raising vaccination rates in a County that’s far lower than the state average.
35% of eligible people are fully vaccinated in Osage County, and while testing is up, of almost 800 people tested in the last week, 51% tested positive for COVID-19. Nelda and Turner Mashburn came in for booster shots, as soon as they could after having the first doses last year – then contracting COVID in the fall.
"If I hadn't got the original shot, I don't think I'd have made it when I got the COVID,” said Turner Mashburn. He’s 80. "It sure sat me down. I've never been that weak before, in my life that I remember. I was in the hospital three weeks and when I got out, I didn't have enough energy to do anything."
Nelda Mashburn said she tested positive when he did, but was never sick, while their son was hospitalized with his father, and still has health issues.
Fairfax Pharmacy, which opened in December after the town went eight years without a pharmacy, hosted the vaccine clinic. Pharmacist Kim Tilley said the pharmacy sells every test they can get, and people are asking about the vaccine. “It is beyond us and the health department, it's a collaboration, we've borrowed the chairs from a church, it's just definitely a community involvement to make this possible," she said.
Billy Robertson, a carpenter and volunteer firefighter, came on for the vaccine booster, which he wanted to protect his family. "I have a 3-year-old granddaughter and 8-year-old grandson and I don't want to bring anything home to them," said Robertson.
After seeing what COVID did to him and his family, Mr. Mashburn is more of a believer in the vaccine than ever. "I think everybody ought to take the shot. It doesn't cost anything, so why not? If it prevents somebody from getting COVID, it's worth their time, cause that ain't no fun, let me tell you."