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Volunteer

Vaccine clinics make use of community volunteers

File photo Retired nurses Marie Ralston, left, and Carol Greening, right, prepare vaccinations during a recent clinic in Devola.

Local vaccine providers are continuing to offer vaccinations to the Mid-Ohio Valley as they become available, based on vaccination guidelines set forth by the state.

Vaccines are administered by volunteers at the clinic the Washington County Health Department runs out of the Broughton side in Devola, the local school districts and through private pharmacies.

Carol Greening, a retired nurse and volunteer coordinator for the Washington County Health Department, said help is needed, even outside of physical contact with the elderly, those with disabilities and teachers who are eligible to receive vaccinations from coronavirus in Ohio.

“Some people who don’t want to have direct contact are our outside help,” Greening said.“Usually the first question (from a prospective volunteer) is I don’t have my vaccine yet, am I safe?”

For those who want to help, but aren’t trained to administer the shots, volunteers are still needed for other jobs.

“We’ve also had volunteers just on phones when we had to cancel appointments (due to winter weather or shipment delays,” she said. “They don’t have to have (physical) contact to be a volunteer. They are just as important in the whole process.”

Last week, Elmcroft of Marietta, an assisted living and memory care support center, administered its third vaccination clinic for its clients, in keeping with Eclipse Senior Living policies that require all staff to become vaccinated.

“Elmcroft is grateful that our communities are some of the first to receive the vaccine. We will continue to do our part to help end this global pandemic and get our communities back to normal,” said Mindy Payne, executive director of Elmcroft of Marietta. “The vaccine is just one piece of the solution in stopping the spread of COVID-19. Eclipse communities will continue to take our standard precautions until the U.S. public health officials let us know they are no longer necessary.”

According to the Ohio Department of Health Vaccination Dashboard, 16.02 percent of Washington County residents and 16.01 percent of Ohioans have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and 10.34 percent of Washington County residents and 8.78 percent of Ohioans received all CDC recommended doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Eligibility is detailed online: https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/static/vaccine/general–fact–sheet.pdf

Volunteers check in senior citizens for a recent vaccination clinic in Devola.

Janelle Patterson may be reached at jpatterson@mariettatimes.com.

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