Monroe County Health Department staff and several other volunteers are providing COVID-19 vaccines in the H Building gymnasium. Clinic organizer Bridget Huss said the Health Department selected MCCC to host vaccine distribution because it is in a central location in the county.
Although the clinic is open to any resident in any county, they have seen a great number of people from the Monroe County area.
The Health Department reserved the gymnasium for the Winter Semester at no cost.
In order to receive a vaccine, patients are required to set up an appointment.
The clinic opened in late December 2020. Currently, the clinic has administered an estimated 1,000 doses of vaccines per week.
Huss explained the process clients must go through in order to receive a vaccine. If a patient has been vaccinated for another disease or illness two weeks prior, they are unable to receive the COVID-19 vaccination.
When patients enter the clinic, a volunteer from the National Guard that will perform a temperature check before the visitor can proceed to the check-in desk.
Volunteers at the clinic have been innovative with the established flag system. The flag system signifies when a patient or physician is ready.
Using the green flag, the physician indicates that they are ready for a patient while the orange flag represents a client who has finished their paperwork.
Patients are directed to a designated waiting area to be monitored for reactions or symptoms after vaccine administration. After a 15-minute monitoring period, patients are cleared to leave.
If affected negatively a paramedic is on site and ready to either treat them or escort them to the nearest hospital. So far no one has responded negatively to the vaccine.
After the first dose, the Health Department will register patients to come back a few weeks after to get the second dose.
The Health Department has made their mission to the community clear, prioritizing patient safety and health.
With vaccine supply still being very scarce, the Health Department is trying to make front -line workers and elderly the first priority.
Brendan Metz, a student at MCCC, was one of many who received the vaccine.
Metz said his experience at the clinic was quick and easy. The opportunity to get the vaccine on campus was beneficial and convenient to him because the area is familiar.
Volunteer backgrounds range from college students in nursing programs, physicians from different hospitals or doctor offices and the National Guard.
“We will be here until the end”, Huss said. The Health Department and all the volunteers will continue to provide the vaccine until the supply runs out.