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Harrison Community Hospital administering vaccine to staff

CADIZ — A dozen front-line health care workers received the COVID-19 vaccine Monday as Harrison Community Hospital began administering doses to its staff.

Thea Gompers, spokeswoman for the WVU Medicine Wheeling Hospital affiliate, said 12 employees were inoculated during the hospital’s initial day of administering the Moderna vaccine. Registered nurse Teresa Rinkes was the first to receive the vaccine Monday morning, Gompers said.

The hospital received approximately 100 doses of the Moderna vaccine early last week from the Ohio Department of Health.

“There’s around 100 employees at the hospital so everyone will get one,” she said. “All those who want it. … It’s not mandatory.”

Gompers said the vaccinations will continue throughout the week. The hospital plans to have the entire staff vaccinated by Jan. 13 at the latest, she said.

Last week, the Harrison County Health Department administered vaccinations for Phase 1A of the inoculation program. The county also received 100 vaccines for those eligible in the first phase, including nursing home staff and residents, health care workers and emergency medical service personnel.

Garen Rhome, administrator of the health department, said the department has administered the vaccine to around 50 people so far, including nearly all of the EMS personnel working in the county.

The department will next focus on congregate living facility staff and residents associated with the board of developmental disabilities, who are also included in the first phase of vaccinations.

Although the department is unsure when the next phase of vaccines will be available, those who will be eligible during Phase 1B will include Ohioans 65 years of age or older.

Others involved will be those living with severe congenital, developmental or early on-set medical disorders, and adults who work in schools.

“We look forward to when we can push this out further into the community, but we’re not there yet,” Rhome said. “We know who, but we don’t know when.”

Rhome said the health department is very pleased with the amount of interest county residents have expressed in getting vaccinated and will keep the public updated on when the next phase of vaccines will be available.

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