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First vaccination clinic runs smoothly

POMEROY–The first day for the vaccine clinic, which was held at the Dick Brown building on January 29, 2021, started at 8 a.m., and was moving along smoothly with 100 of the scheduled 230 doses already administered before 12 p.m. for the B1 group (65+ or multigenerational households). Many people who placed their names on the "list" were scheduled, making it possible to vaccinate eight people every fifteen minutes. This all happened with the help from a sub-committee, health, fire, sheriff departments and the community all coming together to develop a workable plan.

"A lot of logistics were done initially: we formed a sub-committee, held community meetings which included the Garfield County Fire District No. 1, Garfield County Sheriff's Office, Garfield Hospital District and Garfield Public Health District walking through the procedure defining and redefining how the process will unfold," said Jayd Keener, co-CEO Garfield County Hospital District. The building was set up and ready for the arrival of personnel at 7:30 a.m. "From there, everyone walked through the process and thing went off without a hitch," said Keener.

Getting the vaccines is a bit more tactical and not always reliable. "The vaccines are ordered based on category, either primary doses (first) or secondary dose (final) on the weekend for the following week," said Keener. "On the Friday before notification, the State informs us how much doses will be delivered and then people are scheduled accordingly." It is not guaranteed what is ordered, will be delivered. "Even though I ordered 200 doses, only 100 were delivered this week," said Keener.

The governor has expressed that the second-round doses will be sent out as a priority. Second doses are best given within a 28-day window, but can be administered a short time after the initial shot. In case of a short delivery, the clinic will cancel that Friday's clinic and use what vaccines are available for second doses.

It is hopeful, if there are enough vaccine doses, to increase the number of people receiving injections each Friday clinic. "We can easily go up to 12 people every 15 minutes without lines or cumbersome issues. The five nurse volunteers have been amazingly helpful with this process," said Keener.

To manage possible reactions to the vaccine, a pre-screening form helps identify problems. For each person, they will declare all allergies, sensitivities, or adverse reactions to food, drink, medicine, and environmental factors. The more issues, the longer time will be added to the individual's post-vaccination monitoring, to at least 30 minutes, and for a serious reaction, there is a provider on site along with EMT and the medicines needed to deal the issue.

The most common side effect for the first vaccination is a significant sore arm, so it is advised to accept the injection in the dominant arm so it will be moved around the most, said Keener. There is also some reaction at the site, such as redness and swelling, a low-grade fever occurring about 12 hours after the shot, and can experience some nausea and fatigue. These subside within 24-48 hours of the first dose.

The occurrence of uncomfortable side effects with the second dose are being reported to be a bit higher in intensity and longer lasting. According to Keener, "people can experience chills, body aches, higher fever, more fatigue, and COVID-like symptoms that can last up to 48 hours. But there are also some who have little or no side effects at all."

When people get their vaccination, they are advised of the potential of experiencing some side effects and are provided with a handout explaining what to expect and how to handle unreasonable symptoms. There is also an online site to report your symptoms called "Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) at or contact VAERS directly at [email protected] . It is easy to sign up on your smart phone and for seven days after your vaccination, you are sent a text message advising you to click the link and report your symptoms that day. If they are mild that day, all is fine. If you report more severe symptoms, someone will contact you within 24 hours.

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