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Salvation Army hosts vaccines, screenings

BELLAIRE — Southeast Healthcare administered COVID-19 vaccinations to riverside residents Monday at the Salvation Army.

By noon, more than 30 people were vaccinated with the Moderna version. The prior clinic April 14 vaccinated more than 70 people with a first dose. A second-dose clinic is scheduled within 28 days.

“We’ve had quite a few walk-ins today,” Gayle Westfall, nursing supervisor with Southeast, said.

“I think there’s so many people out there giving the vaccine these days,” Westfall said, adding that news of blood-clotting incidents and deaths among a few of the more than 6 million nationwide recipients of the Johnson & Johnson version of the vaccine may discourage some. After study, use of Johnson & Johnson has resumed.

“People are scared with the news of some issues with some of the vaccines, but they’re doing very well,” Westfall said.

She added the Pfizer BioNTech version, which is approved for recipients younger than 18, most often goes to pharmacies and health departments, which have the facilities necessary to keep the vaccine in the colder storage it requires.

In addition, a mobile health van was also offering medical examinations.

Maj. Lewis Patrick of the Salvation Army spoke about community needs.

“Every immunization is a positive thing, and especially knowing that this area has a need for that, having this extended out is absolutely a great thing,” he said.

“Between the multiple times that we’ve had Southeast here, and again, the few people that came in for the Belmont County Health Department, I think we have had a decent response. I believe between all of them, that’s right around 100. That’s 100 people that weren’t vaccinated. I think it’ll be an exceptional thing for helping our community get beyond the restrictions of this pandemic.”

Patrick also said the medical van was invaluable.

“I have seen many off the street come in,” he said.

Westfall said anything that can be done in a doctor’s office can be done in the van, with referrals for lab work.

Patrick said the Salvation Army’s Facebook site has had more than 5,000 views related to medical outreach.

“Many people have seen it. Many people know what’s happening in our community to make a better environment,” he said.

“Anyone who’s interested, we do have a COVID phone number where you can call and get scheduled, or to call and check when our next clinic will be and where it will be,” Westfall said.

More information can be obtained at 740-695-9344.

Among those being vaccinated Monday were Jeffrey Hutchison of Bellaire.

“I heard it through a friend and decided to come get it,” Hutchinson said, adding he was also concerned about being in contact with older family members. He said he looks forward to some traveling.

Others have been dealing with comorbidities and accompanying anxiety.

“(I wanted to be vaccinated) for my health,” Robert Dailey of Bellaire said. “I’ve got heart problems, I’ve got lung problems. I just want to get it done in case I catch it. All my friends got it and I said ‘heck, I’m going to go get it.'”

He intends to continue fishing.

Belmont County Deputy Health Commissioner Robert Sproul said first doses of vaccine will be given from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Thursday at an open clinic at the Ohio Valley Mall. Sproul said his office also has 45 doses of single-shot Johnson and Johnson available on request.

Pfizer doses for students and Moderna for staff will also be offered by the health department at school clinics at St. Clairsville Tuesday, Bellaire Wednesday and Shadyside Friday.

Sproul said there have been a total of 6,034 cases in Belmont County, with 278 people with active cases or hospitalized. Recoveries are at 5,640, and 116 deaths related to the virus.

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