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Health & Science

State’s New Mass Vaccination Sites Help Seniors Get Access Quicker

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Jessica Lilly
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Vaccination being administered as part of the Save our Wisdom project in Mercer County, WV January 7, 2021.

County health departments are administering vaccinations to West Virginians who are 80 years or older across the state this week. Mercer County hosted one of several mass vaccination clinics on Thursday, January 7, 2021.

Eighty-nine year-old Dan Hall from Oakvale in Mercer County sat in his vehicle this week waiting to get his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. He says his wife got the vaccine on Monday.

He joined dozens of Southern West Virginia seniors who are eager to receive vaccinations at a host of new clinics now set up across the state.

“She was the last one,” Hall said. “She got it over at the health center so I thought I better go get my mine now.”

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Jessica Lilly
Eighty-nine year-old Dan Hall of Oakvale, WV waited to be vaccinated on January 7, 2021 in Mercer County.

Mercer County Sheriff’s Deputies directed traffic. People in white hazmat suits carrying clipboards took information before phlebotomy students and health officials administered the vaccine. Interim health department Administrator Brenda Donithan says the day went smoother than vaccination efforts on Monday when many folks got turned away after sitting in unorganized lines.

“We learned that we needed a bigger place to have these,” Donithan said. “Also, the traffic control was the biggest problem we had.”

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Jessica Lilly
Mercer County Sheriff Deputy directing traffic during vaccination clinic for 80 year-olds and older on January 7, 2021.

Counties are notified via a daily call with state health officials and updated on the amount of vaccines that they will receive. The vaccines are delivered by the National Guard. Residents are encouraged to look for more specific information from their county health departments about upcoming mass vaccinations events.

More information is available on the website of the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources COVID-19 vaccine web page.

Gov. Jim Justice announced the start Wednesday of a new vaccine rollout plan aimed at the state’s senior population called Save Our Wisdom, or SOW.

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Jessica Lilly
Mercer County Health Department set up a mass vaccination clinic at the Brushfork Armory on Thursday, January 7.


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