From COVID-19 discovery to vaccination: Mayo Clinic Health System invites seniors for vaccine

Mayo Clinic Health System begins vaccinating people 65 and older, one Kendall man shares his experience
Vaccines For Senior Citizens

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) – More than 700,000 people 65 and older now qualify for the COVID-19 vaccine in Wisconsin.  Monday that group officially became eligible to start getting the vaccine.

January 2020, we first heard the name COVID-19.

“In my career as a healthcare provider, I’ve gone through a few different pandemics,” Ben Anderson said, a nurse administrator at Mayo Clinic Health System. “Nothing close to COVID.”

A year later, people are receiving a vaccine for it. A total of 500 doses were available for the 65 and older crowd at Mayo Clinic Health System Monday. Arden Eberhardt is one of these people lining up.

“I am ready,” Eberhardt said as he prepared to get his shot.

He doesn’t need to remove his mask to show he’s smiling. Eberhardt and his wife Lois drove down from Kendall for this protection.

“She keeps me smiling,” Eberhardt said. “I’ve been managing excellent. Wonderful winter.”

Eberhardt is a positive thinker despite reasons to feel otherwise, and this is not about the pandemic.

“Course I live on a farm,” Eberhardt said.

Milk prices tell the story for farmers across Wisconsin.

“Naturally the last several years has not been that great for farming,” Eberhardt said.

Farmers tend to hold out hope for rain, even during a drought.

“But it still is a good life,” Eberhardt said.

People thirst for human interaction and a normal life. Anderson said the vaccine is the way back to the life we crave.

“This vaccine is the way through this pandemic,” Anderson said. “If you ever want to get back to normal and not wear things like masks on your face and be able to meet with your family.”

This is not Eberhardt’s first experience with a virus.

“I remember the Polio era,” he said “That does age me a little doesn’t it?

“We’ve lived through some of the largest changes in our society that, I think, have ever happened.”

Eberhardt’s experience taught him a thing or two about attitude.

“The good Lord has given us much,” Eberhardt said.

Vaccines protect against illness, but the smile behind Eberhardt’s mask is how society moves forward.

“You gotta have that to live,” Eberhardt said. “Just be careful and things will turn out fine.”

Mayo Clinic Health System plans to administer another 375 doses tomorrow. Healthcare officials are sending out invites to patients who are eligible to set up an appointment.