Oneida County holds COVID-19 vaccine clinic
‘One arm of a big collaborative effort’
By Eileen Persike
The Oneida County Health Department (OCHD) held its first mass COVID-19 vaccine clinic Jan. 29-30, for people age 65 and older. Volunteers, including EMTs and retired nurses, administered the shots while OCHD nursing staff was “running the show, making sure everything is done,” said director Linda Conlon. The clinic was held at Foursquare Church, where Conlon expected to vaccinate a total of 1,000 pre-registered individuals over the two-day clinic. She said it was running smoothly.
“It’s been really amazing the volunteers who have stepped forward to help us, not only inside but outside in the parking lot. There’s a lot to do,” Conlon said.
A check-in team in the church driveway gave each vehicle an electronic device that buzzes when it is their turn to enter the building. A dedicated radio frequency broadcast educational pieces for people to listen to in their vehicles, and inside the multipurpose room as well.
“We’ve been pandemic planning and mass vaccination planning for many, many years,” Conlon said. “We have plans in place and so all of this – knowing that we need an educator, and [registration staff] and a vaccinator – the one thing that threw us a little bit with COVID, with the flu you don’t have to have social distancing, and that is just a piece of the puzzle we didn’t have.”
The puzzle was complete when the space at the church was found; big enough to socially distance people waiting to get the vaccine, as well as those waiting the required 15-minutes afterward.
“It was super simple, easy, fast and it never hurt,” said Dave Lederman of Minocqua who had his first dose of the Moderna vaccine at the clinic Friday.
Sherry Lederman said the couple had no hesitation in getting the shot.
“I have some health issues, he has some health issues,” Sherry said. “And if we can keep from spreading it. I thought it went very smoothly.”
With health care providers and pharmacies also giving shots in arms, Conlon said the clinic was “just one arm of a big collaborative effort.”
Appointments are required to receive a vaccine. For people 65 and older who want to sign up for a vaccine with OCHD, visit oneidacountypublichealth.org or for people without internet availability, call 715-401-4150.
The health department encourages community members to use all potential avenues for vaccination. There are no wait lists being formed for vaccines in future phases. To stay current on vaccine and other COVID-19 information, visit oneidacountypublichealth.org.