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Memorial Health System offering vaccination clinics

Dr. Francis Wadskier, of Marietta Memorial Hospital’s Department of Infectious Disease, after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, shares why she got it as healthcare providers were among the first people in the area to receive the vaccine. (Photo Provided)

MARIETTA — The Memorial Health System will be holding vaccination clinics this week and is working to get people signed up for those and future clinics being planned.

People are signing up for the appointment-only drive-thru clinics that will be occurring this week and in the near future.

One clinic is planned for this evening which has already been fully scheduled and another on Thursday which is filling up for people who are 80-years and older, said Dr. Dan Breece, Vice President of Physician Services and Chief Medical Officer for

Memorial Health System.

“We have over 200 80-year-old and above patients signed up,” Breece said. “We are excited about this week.”

People are being advised to call 844-887-4148 to do the pre-registration work, said Jennifer Offenberger, Associate Vice President, Service Excellence for Memorial Health System.

The process will get their information together so they will be able to go right through the clinic and get vaccinated when the time comes. Once a clinic is set up for their age group, they will be contacted to make the appointment with the time and location of the drive-thru clinic.

“You have to have an appointment,” Offenberger said of people going to the clinics. “We have a drive-thru format where people can drive up and get their shot, but they do have to have an appointment.

“That is why the phone number is so important.”

Even if it is not their time, people can still be registered and have that work done.

“If it is not time we will get them in the queue and call them for an appointment in the coming weeks as well,” Offenberger said.

Breece and Offenberger said other clinics by different organizations in the area had a limited number of shots available, but had long lines of people hoping to get one with many people disappointed they couldn’t get any.

“We’ve made it convenient and easy for our patients — pre-registering helps them get their appointment and to get through the process more quickly.” Offenberger said.

Breece said it is being done this way to prevent the massive lines.

“We are scheduling people to try to keep the flow and the efficiency of the process as controlled as we possibly can,” he said.

“We don’t want people waiting in line for hours and being disappointed,” Offenberger added.

There is information on the website www.mhsystem.org with a section devoted to COVID 19 with a section on vaccine information.

The Memorial Health System clinics will be providing the Moderna vaccine. If people have a question about getting it and their health they should talk to their doctor, Memorial Health System (MHS) officials said. They are also providing literature and information at the time of shot, they added.

Offenberger said Memorial would continually put updates on social media about more clinics as they become available.

Breece said they are working to acquire as much vaccine as possible, but understands this area is just one inside the entire state and the state is at the mercy of what the government releases to them.

Memorial is working on setting up a possible clinic this weekend and is still working on the details, he said, adding more information may be available on that towards the end of the week.

MHS will continue to operate the clinics this way as long as the need to have them is there. A lot of it depends on when new shipments of the vaccine become available locally.

“If the state would call me today and say we were getting another few hundred vaccines or a thousand, our team has said we are not going to be sitting on vaccine,” Breece said. “We want to use it as fast as we can.

“You would see us quickly scheduling another clinic to do so.”

Depending on the amounts they receive, they have plans in place that would them to vaccinate small groups of people to groups that could be as big as 1,000 people.

“We want to get as many people vaccinated as quickly as possible,” Breece said. “We feel we are here to vaccinate as many people as who want the vaccine who want it as long as we are staying within the guidelines.

“Whenever the guidelines allow us to vaccinate we will.”

Brett Dunlap can be reached at bdunlap@newsandsentinel.com

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