Sandy Dunfee and Danielle Burch, nurses from the Marshall County Health Department appeared before the Marshall County Council this week to seek approval to apply for a grant.
Dunfee asked for the council’s approval of the second installment of the grant that they have already received in 2021 for childhood immunizations. She said some of the wording is different in the second installment. Dunfee said, “I heard you guys loud and clear when we had applied for another grant that had the word COVID -19 vaccine in it. So, I have partnered with Community Outreach from Saint Joseph Health Center. Any time we are in the school system offering vaccines the hospital will be the ones offering the COVID-19 vaccine, it will not be delivered through the Marshall County Health Department.”
Dunfee said this spring they have already been in all the Marshall County school systems offering childhood immunizations to catch kids up. Dunfee said, “We did not take any COVID-19 vaccine when we went. We told them they would need to come to the office if they wanted it. Again, heard you loud and clear the last time. We just want to try and get money to help continue our efforts in getting all of our kids up to date on their vaccines.”
Councilman Jim Masterson asked if it was a voluntary basis and Dunfee said “absolutely.” There are no forced immunizations. Parental consent has to be given to receive a vaccine.
Councilman Heath Thornton said, “I was against the other one because of the ramifications within the forced issue or mandates is what I was against. I’m not against vaccinating children.”
County Auditor Julie Fox told the County Council the Commissioners approved the request at their April 18th meeting.
The motion was made to approve the request by Jim Masterson and seconded by Jon VanVactor. The vote was 5 to 2 with Bohannon and Harmon voting nay.
When asked by the County Health Nurse if there were additional questions on the no vote Bohannon said, “It’s the funding source. It’s not about immunizations. If you asked for an appropriation, I would be happy to support an appropriation from our funds. I’m just not happy with the funding source.”