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Mid-Ohio Valley vaccination clinics sometimes search for patients

PARKERSBURG — Drawing from a vial of COVID-19 vaccine starts a ticking clock to administer doses.

That’s why even as appointments continue to be made for vaccination clinics, health officials sometimes find themselves searching for eligible arms.

“You have to use the entire vial within a certain time period,” said Amy Haskins, administrator of the Jackson County Health Department.

For the Moderna vaccine, “every single shot in that vial has to be used in six hours,” she said. The window for the Pfizer vaccine is four hours.

“We have to find arms, and we can’t save them over to the next day,” Haskins said.

There are at least 10, and sometimes 11, doses in each Moderna vial, while Pfizer guarantees at least six doses per vial, she said.

But sometimes people can’t make their appointment, especially now that vaccinations are open to younger people who may be working. If that happens, Haskins said, Health Department personnel will reschedule them and try to find someone else to get the shot.

The department has reached out on its Facebook page the last two Fridays to find takers for 50 and eight additional doses, respectively.

The department schedules appointments using the list generated from the state’s Everbridge portal, while also accepting calls to its office at 304-372-2634.

They recently started holding walk-in clinics, where people arriving without appointments receive doses on a first-come, first-served basis. The next one is Friday at the Jackson County Armory.

The Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department serves Wood, Wirt, Calhoun, Pleasants, Ritchie and Roane counties. The department called to schedule appointments for folks who registered on a locally generated standby list before the state system went online.

They recently introduced an online option – uwamov.com/covid – where individuals can choose their own appointment time in Wood, Wirt and Pleasants counties. Those without Internet access can call 304-420-1449.

An increase in available doses — Wood County receives about 1,500 a week compared to 500 or 600 earlier in the year — has made scheduling easier, said Carrie Brainard, threat preparedness coordinator for the department.

Sometimes they end up with cancellations and leftover vaccines, so “we make phone calls,” she said. They maintain a running list from the state, as well as people who have indicated they would like to be contacted if extra doses are available. Occasionally, people will come to a clinic and let the traffic control volunteers know they’re interested in leftover doses.

“We’ve had a few people that have just stuck around,” Brainard said.

In Wood County, 12,046 residents have been fully vaccinated, meaning they received either both doses of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines or one of Johnson and Johnson’s. That’s 14.4 percent of the county’s population.

The number of residents fully vaccinated and percentage of population for other local counties: Calhoun, 1,134, 16; Doddridge, 2,353, 27.9; Gilmer, 1,401, 17.9; Jackson, 4,452, 15.6; Pleasants, 1,614, 21.6; Ritchie, 1,819, 19; Roane, 2,480, 18.1; Tyler, 1,604, 18.7; Wetzel, 3,590, 23.8; Wirt, 1,077, 18.5.

Active cases in the region, as of Monday morning’s update from the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (day before): Calhoun, (13); Doddridge, 13 (12); Gilmer, 2 (2); Jackson, 61 (67); Pleasants, 6 (6); Ritchie, 9 (8); Roane, 27 (28); Tyler, 30 (27); Wetzel, 101 (99); Wirt, 5 (5); Wood, 134 (131).

Multiple vaccination clinics are scheduled in the region this week.

In addition to the methods listed above, people can register online through West Virginia’s portal at vaccinate.wv.gov or by calling 1-833-734-0965 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.

WEDNESDAY

* Roane County, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., City of Spencer Armory, Spencer.

* Wirt County, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Coplin Health Systems, 483 Court St., Elizabeth.

* Wood County, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., South Parkersburg Baptist Church, 1655 Blizzard Drive, Parkersburg (second doses only).

THURSDAY

* Jackson County, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Jackson County Armory, 8832 Point Pleasant Road, Millwood.

* Pleasants County, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Pleasants County Library, 101 Lafayette St., St. Marys.

* Ritchie County, 9 a.m. to noon, Ritchie County 4-H Camp, 4-H Camp Road, Harrisville.

* Roane County, noon to 7 p.m., City of Spencer Armory, Spencer.

* Wood County, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., WVU-Parkersburg Early Learning Center, Parkersburg.

FRIDAY

* Calhoun County, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Calhoun Middle/High School — Front Loop, 50 Underwood Circle, Mt. Zion.

* Gilmer County, 8:30 to 10 a.m., Sue Morris Sports Complex, 1294 U.S. 33E, Glenville.

* Jackson County, 1-6 p.m., Jackson County Armory, Millwood.

* Roane County, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., City of Spencer Armory, Spencer.

* Wetzel and Tyler counties, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., United Methodist Church, 10 Howard Jeffers Drive, New Martinsville.

* Wood County, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., South Parkersburg Baptist Church, Parkersburg.

SATURDAY

* Roane County, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., City of Spencer Armory, 207 E. Main St., Spencer.

Evan Bevins can be reached at ebevins@newsandsentinel.com.

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