Elderly locals now fully vaccinated

Nurses, volunteers and public health personnel manned a dozen well spaced tables at the John O’Leary Adult Community Center on Church Street to host a two-stage program of vaccine inoculations to nearly 200 elderly locals in a project that ended on May 5.

Credited for the convenience were facilitators from the Merrimack Welfare Department, the City of Nashua’s Public Health Department and its Community Health Division, along with staff from St. Joseph Community Services / Meals on Wheels.

“We’re very appreciative of the support from Nashua Public Health and others in doing these clinics for the elderly in Merrimack,” said Pat Murphy, director of Merrimack Welfare. “All of them are our real heroes.”

The venue was spacious. Tables bearing doses of vaccine in one-use needles, bandaids, skin sanitizer and wipes awaited the next recipient. Personnel at a sign-in desk gifted participants with some navy blue stretch masks silkscreened with a bright white logo proclaiming, “City of Nashua Division of Public Health & Community Services.”

Ed Fleming, 93, a Merrimack resident for more than 20 years, thanked nurses Anna Wendel and Pauline Lima as he rolled down his sleeve after receiving his second dose of vaccine.

“These shots will make it easier for my kids and grandkids and greats to visit with peace of mind,” said Fleming. “It was a wonderful community service.”

Fact sheets distributed at the event offered information about possible inoculation side effects — swelling or pain at the injection site, headache and muscle pain, along with fatigue, fever, chills and more. Another postcard giveaway bore a photo of a white van that is a part of Greater Nashua Mobile Outreach, an amenity bringing services including vaccinations to sites throughout Greater Nashua.

Nurse Katie Hatcher, of the City of Nashua Public Health Division, noted that accommodations were designed to ensure the inoculation of any scheduled senior who needed the shots.

“We’re so pleased at people coming out for the vaccinations,” said Hatcher. “People who couldn’t come into the building – we vaccinated them in their cars.”

More information about vaccination programs in the area can be had by contacting the City of Nashua Division of Public Health and Community Services at NH.gov/DPHCS or by calling the Merrimack Welfare Department: 423-8535.