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Camden Clark Medical Center receives vaccine

WVU Medicine Camden Clark’s Emergency Department Director Brian Richardson received the first COVID-19 vaccine shot in Parkersburg by health manager Elizabeth Bennett on Tuesday morning.(Photo Provided)

The first batch of COVID-19 vaccine shots in Parkersburg were given out at WVU Medicine Camden Clark Medical Center on Tuesday.

Issued out at 6 a.m., the first two to receive the shots were the hospital’s Emergency Department Director Brian Richardson and David Gnegy, President of Parkersburg Cardiology Associates.

Seeing positive cases in Wood County and the Mid-Ohio Valley on the rise in the last month. Richardson, believing that a vaccine will help prevent the spread of the virus, volunteered as one of the first to receive the vaccine shot.

“I was obviously eager to volunteer to be part of this. I’m a firm believer that the vaccination of our community could help decrease some of the surges that we’re seeing,” Richardson said. “As somebody who works to try to prevent the spread of this and was also exposed, potentially, and dealing with this, I was very eager to obtain the vaccination.”

Part of phase 1-A in the states vaccination program timeline, the first doses will go to long-term care facility staff, emergency medical services personnel, hospital staff, state and local health department personnel, clinic and outpatient staff, home health and hospice workers, pharmacy employees, dental office staff, and other healthcare workers.

Rhonda Boso-Suggs, Camden Clark’s Assistant Vice President of Ancillary Services, said Camden Clark approached about 750 individuals and around 60 percent agreed to take a vaccine shot.

“We had to indicate to the federal government very early on how many frontline workers would be in the first phase of administration, which is those that are actually hands-on with patients,” Boso-Suggs said. “So based on those numbers we submitted, we were given an allotment of vaccines and so the schedule is going to be more dependent on the vaccine availability.”

Boso-Suggs also said employees are strongly encouraged to take the vaccine due to being a frontline health care worker, but it is not a mandatory vaccine.

Phase 1-B includes teachers and education staff, critical state services, continuity of government, utilities, and transportation. Phase 2 will include the general populace. Phase 1 vaccinations will take place between December and February as doses become available. Phase 2 vaccinations will likely start in March. Those participating in the vaccine will have to take a second dose in 21 days.

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