As interest in COVID-19 shots continues to drop locally, the St. Joseph Health Department hosted a vaccine clinic that served 61 people in two hours Tuesday at the Civic Arena.
This was one of two clinics planned by the health department. The second is set for Tuesday, May 11, and has 100 openings available.
Health Department Clinic Director Connie Werner said the decision to host the vaccine clinic was made after the Community Vaccine Clinic at the East Hills Shopping Center stopped offering first doses of shots. She said there is hope that there still is enough interest to have vaccine clinics, as many in the community have not received shots.
“We want to give as many opportunities as we can to get the community vaccinated,” Werner said. “We had been working in cooperation with Mosaic at the community clinic, and when they kind of started shutting that down we wanted to make sure we did continue to have our imprint in the community to get our community vaccinated.”
Alan Whorton was one of the 61 people who received a shot Tuesday at the vaccine clinic. He said it was an easy process and is glad he made the decision to get the vaccine. He also said he will encourage people he knows to do so as well.
“It was very easy. I would recommend it to anyone who wants to do it,” Whorton said. “I’ll still probably wear a mask, but it’s still just good to have that extra confidence.”
Sign-ups for the May 11 clinic are open and registration can be done at signup.com/go/tNdgirq.
The future of vaccination clinics will depend on the demand, which is already falling. In Buchanan County, the percent of people who have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine is under 20%.
Werner said officials are going to try to be involved with the vaccination process and have the capability to host clinics at the Civic Arena if demand is still there.
“The COVID virus is still in our community, the variations of the COVID virus are out in the world, so COVID isn’t going away just because we want it to be gone,” Werner said.