The Berkeley and Morgan County Health Department has opened the door to residents 65 and older who want the Covid-19 vaccine.
The program is part of a state wide effort to vaccinate the population.
“This is what the CDC is asking us to do, and we surely don’t want any obstacles in front of us to get more vaccines moving forward,” Governor Jim Justice said. “Our clinics will have the ability to vaccinate 10,000 West Virginians age 65 and older every day.”
“Imagine how many lives we’re saving,” Governor Justice continued. “Three weeks ago, we were thinking that we probably weren’t going to be able to get to people in this age group until April. But then we moved and we really kicked it in gear.”
The health department has set up a website for seniors to register.
“You will need to provide an accurate phone number and email address. Listing of medications and insurance information is not required,” the health department said. “Please be sure to select your correct county of residence. If you do not have internet access, please call: 304-267-1304.”
“Please be patient,” the health department said. “Vaccine supplies are still limited as interest in receiving the vaccine continues to grow.”
The vaccines will be administered at Berkeley 2000 Recreation Center, 273 Woodbury Avenue, Martinsburg, West Virginia 25404.
“Traffic to enter from Woodbury Avenue. Do not arrive any earlier than 15 minutes prior to your appointment time. To assist maintaining of social distancing and flow, upon arrival, you will receive an assigned number from our parking assistants and directed where to park. Please remain in your vehicle until your number is called.”
“We cannot administer the Covid-19 vaccine to you if you have received any other vaccine within the previous 14 days,” the health department said. “Must bring proof of date of birth. Driver’s license is acceptable. Wear your mask and please remember to stay socially distant. Inside, there are four steps to getting vaccine: Fill Out Form. Show Form. Receive Vaccine. Turn In Form and Exit.”
Ken Reed, who owns Reed’s Pharmacy and is a new member of the West Virginia House of Delegates, said on Eastern Panhandle Talk with Rob and Dave last week that he was optimistic about getting the vaccine to those in Morgan County “who want it.”
“There are 18,000 people in Morgan County. There are two pharmacies – Reed’s and Walgreen’s,” Reed said. “If they can get me the vaccine within a week or two, we can get most of the people who want the vaccine vaccinated. There are 120,000 some people in Berkeley County but there are a lot more pharmacies. But they open that up and add the health departments and mass clinics.”
Reed said the Moderna vaccine is easier to use “because you have thirty days in the refrigerator.” Reed said the Pfizer vaccine “is much more difficult to use.”
Reed called the soon to be available Johnson & Johnson vaccine a possible “game changer” because it’s “one and done.”
“And it’s storage requirements are more in line with traditional vaccines. It’s got a shelf life of six months.”
National news outlets are reporting that a significant percentage of health care workers are choosing not to get vaccinated.
CBS News ran a story yesterday titled “Many health care workers are refusing to get a COVID-19 vaccine.”
“A significant percentage of doctors, nurses, EMS workers, support staff and other health care employees said they turned down the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines over concerns they may not be safe or effective, according to a recent survey by Surgo Ventures, a non-profit group focused on solving health and social problems,” CBS News reported. “Others in the health field worried the development of the vaccine had been rushed.”