Monroe considering youth clinic

WOODSFIELD — The Monroe County Health Department is working to gauge interest before planning a COVID-19 vaccine clinic for the area’s youth.

Kara Dixon, director of nursing, said now that the Pfizer vaccine has been approved for children as young as 12 years old, the staff is trying to gauge interest and determine how many youngsters would like to get the shot. Currently the department only has Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, so it will have to order Pfizer to accommodate the county’s youth.

“We’re trying to get the younger generation vaccinated. … We need a certain amount (of youth) interested before we can order it,” she said.

Dixon said they are still looking for what the need may be among the younger generation. So far, the response has been minimal, she said.

According to the Ohio Department of Health, around 34 percent of the county’s population has received at least one dose of vaccine. Approximately 3 percent of residents under the age of 19, or around 90 children and teens, have opted to get the shot so far in the county.

Parents interested in having their children vaccinated should call the department at 740-472-4299.

“If we see an increase in them wanting the vaccine, we will order the Pfizer vaccine,” she said. “We’re hoping Moderna will be approved and we can just get it out to those 12 and up.”

In the meantime, younger residents are able to access the vaccine through local pharmacies in the area. If residents are looking to have their children vaccinated in a timely fashion, health department staff will direct them to the nearest vaccine distributor.

Dixon said the staff continue to hold weekly clinics for adult residents age 18 and older. The walk-in clinics are held from 9-11 a.m. and 1:30-3:30 every Tuesday this month at the health department, 118 Home Ave., Woodsfield. She said they are working to set up clinic dates for next month at other locations in the county. Additional clinic dates will be announced at a later date.

Dixon said there has been an increase in vaccine response in the community, which she attributes to time and people becoming more open to getting the shot.

“We’ve had a decent response to the walk-in clinics. We’re vaccinating some (residents). Right now, we’ve had people who were on the fence in January and February who are now ready to get the vaccine,” she said. “We’re hoping to keep pulling some of those residents who were on the fence in and get them vaccinated.”

As of Tuesday, the county has confirmed a total of 1,357 cases, 1,290 recoveries, 44 deaths and 23 active cases.


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