Monroe County to hold open COVID-19 vaccine clinics
WOODSFIELD — In an effort to ensure all county residents have the opportunity to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, the Monroe County Health Department will hold multiple open clinics with the first set for this weekend.
The initial opportunity is set for 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, and the second is set for 5-7 p.m. April 15. Both are being held at the Monroe County Fairgrounds in Woodsfield.
Administrator Linda Masters said the health department will hold open clinics on the weekend and during evening hours for those who may have missed an opportunity to become vaccinated due to their work schedule.
“We didn’t feel we were reaching everyone, that maybe some people couldn’t commit to an appointment during the week with work. We thought by holding an open clinic we could reach more people. … We want to make sure everyone who wants to be vaccinated has the chance to do so,” she said.
Masters said because the eligibility group now includes younger residents who may work throughout the week, the department thought it best to hold alternative clinic options to ensure everyone has access to the vaccine.
“We’re trying to get some of the younger people vaccinated that may have a little busier schedule and are not able to commit to a Wednesday, midweek clinic,” she added.
The clinics are open to all county residents age 18 and older. Masters said residents are able to make an appointment but are not required to do so.
Residents can make an appointment by calling the health department or emailing email@example.com. She noted that residents should include their name, address, phone number and date of birth in the email.
The health department plans to administer around 300 vaccinations during Saturday’s clinic and another 300 at the April 15 clinic.
As of Monday, around 25 residents had registered for Saturday’s clinic. The Moderna vaccine will be available at both open clinics, while the Johnson & Johnson vaccine supply is limited and will be available by requested appointment only.
This is the first open clinic the health department has held since earlier this year, Masters said.
“We’re not quite sure what to expect yet. We haven’t held an open clinic since the beginning,” she said. “We won’t turn anyone away as long as we have vaccines. If it’s noon and we still have people in line, we’ll stay and vaccinate as many people that want to come out and want to get vaccinated.”
During the drive-through clinic attendees must remain in their vehicle where staff will come to the driver’s window. Attendees are asked to wear a facial covering and loose fitting clothing.
Masters said the previous clinics have gone smoothly. The average wait time to receive the vaccine is less than 30 minutes, she said. There is also a 15-minute wait following the vaccination to ensure the person does not have an adverse allergic reaction.
“It’s very easy. You don’t have to get out of the car, you just drive right through,” she said.
Masters encourages all adult residents who have not yet received the vaccine to attend one of the open clinics.