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Harrison County providing COVID vaccines to residents 80 and older this week

Photo Provided Robert Clendenine, 80, of Freeport receives a COVID-19 vaccine Tuesday morning at Harrison Community Hospital from registered nurse Randi Peck, quality/infection control coordinator. The hospital will continue to provide inoculations for county residents age 80 and older throughout the week. Those interested in receiving the vaccine can contact the Harrison County Health Department.

CADIZ — Harrison Community Hospital, in collaboration with the Harrison County Health Department, is administering the COVID-19 vaccine to residents ages 80 and older this week.

More than 30 residents received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine Tuesday and Wednesday. The hospital will continue the inoculations throughout the week for the oldest residents in the Phase 1B category — individuals age 80 and older. The vaccinations are by appointment only.

Those interested in receiving the vaccine can register for an appointment by calling the health department at 740-942-2616 or completing the online survey on the department’s website, harrisonpublichealth.org, and its Facebook page.

Dr. Dan Jones, medical director at Harrison Community Hospital, said he wants to assure residents that the vaccine is safe, as some have voiced concern.

“We understand that individuals may have some reservations in getting the COVID-19 vaccine. We want folks to remember that these vaccines have been carefully evaluated for safety in clinical trials, have shown to be very effective in preventing COVID-19, and will protect not only you, but your family, friends and loved ones,” he stated.

Garen Rhome, administrator of the county’s health department, said the department is grateful for its partnership with the hospital. The health department began its Phase 1B vaccinations for residents 80 years and older last week. More than 200 individuals received the vaccine.

Rhome said the department will inoculate an additional 200 residents this Friday. The department began making phone calls earlier this week to those who have registered to receive the vaccine and will be scheduling appointments for Friday’s clinic, he said.

“We have been contacting those from our call list for pre-screening and to schedule the eligible folks to join us on Friday,” he said.

Residents age 75 and older will also be included in this week’s clinic.

Rhome said the clinics have gone really well. The department has received a positive response from the community, he said.

“We had a lot of really good feedback from the community,” he said. “We’ve received comments on our social media, responses to our general survey, and phone calls from folks saying that we did a great job and it was really organized. We’ve gotten a really positive response from that group.”

The health department expects to receive weekly shipments of the coronavirus vaccine and is hoping to continue conducting appointment-based clinics each Friday.

Rhome urges residents to complete the online survey to get registered to receive the vaccine. Once an individual has registered, the health department will contact those eligible to schedule appointments for the upcoming clinics. More than 2,000 residents have completed the survey thus far, he said.

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