Page County Veteran's Affairs Office

Page West Building

(Shenandoah) -- Efforts to vaccinate Page County's veterans population from COVID-19 were successful this winter.

Page County's Veterans Affairs Office, in conjunction with Shenandoah's V-A Community Based Outpatient Clinic, sponsored COVID vaccination clinics in February and March at the Shenandoah Elks Lodge. Janet Olsen is the county's veterans affairs executive director. Speaking on KMA's "Morning Line' program Friday morning, Olsen says both clinics were well attended.

"We were overwhelmed," said Olsen. "It went well, it was well organized, and I want to tip my hat in tribute to Joyce Portz, who organized this, and brought the Omaha crew down. They did a great job for my veterans. We served over 500 veterans with the COVID shots."

Olsen says vaccinating area veterans was important, as they make up a major cross section of residents most susceptible to coronavirus.

"A lot of my veterans are over 65," she said. "We'd say probably 80% of them. If they have any health conditions at all, it's very important that we take care of these people, and that they get their shots."

Olsen says her office continues to serve veterans under COVID-19 constraints in effect since last year.

"The only thing that we've done different at this stage," said Olsen, "is that only one person can be in with us, and work with us at a time. So, one person in the office. We don't have the shields, but we're far enough apart with the masks, we're pretty safe. But, we have a break room down the hall--you can have coffee and cookies while you're waiting. And, we have not set up by appointment. We still have an open door policy."

Though the county's V-A office still provides transportation services to the Omaha V-A Medical Center, she says even those services are still limited.

"You know, the CBOC also has transportation to provide," she said. "But, we are run by a volunteer force, and it's difficult right now to get drivers. We're still taking clients, and we definitely will not miss the C&P (exam). But, it's difficult right now to offer that transportation."

Anyone with questions regarding the Page County Veterans Affairs' services can call the office at 712-246-4254. You can hear the full interview with Janet Olsen on our "Morning Line" page at kmaland.com.

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