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500 doses set for vaccination clinic

ELKINS — Local health care officials are releasing further information and instructions to the public as they prepare to administer 500 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday.

“The Elkins Randolph County Health Department is receiving 500 doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine this week for a community vaccination clinic on Thursday” at the Phil Gainer Community Center, a Monday press release from Davis Medical Center stated.

“The vaccines are intended for residents of Randolph, Barbour, Tucker, Pendleton, Upshur and Webster counties,” the release reads. This clinic will be similar to the one last week at the Community Center, which also served residents of the six counties.

Appointments will be made beginning at 10 a.m. today by calling 304-637-3368.

“The phone line will not open until 10 a.m. and will be disabled when all appointment time slots are filled,” the press release states. “Voice messages left on this line will not be returned.

“There is an overwhelming demand for the vaccine and a huge volume of calls coming into the line,” the release continues. “Please be patient and kind with our phone volunteers — we are doing the best that we can.

“Do not call the Health Department or the hospital switchboard for appointments,” the release reads.

Starting next week, local residents will be able to make COVID-19 vaccination appointments through a statewide system.

West Virginia became the first state to launch an Everbridge COVID-19 Vaccination Pre-Registration system Monday.

Everbridge is described as a global provider of critical event management technologies. The new system enables West Virginians to pre-register for COVID-19 vaccination and receive updates through text, phone and/or email. The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources launched the new service at 8 a.m. Monday on vaccinate.wv.gov.

This first week, the system is open for pre-registration for vaccinations. Moving forward, vaccination scheduling will also be available through the system. But anyone who wants to receive a vaccination this week during Thursday’s mass vaccination clinic in Elkins must call 304-637-3368 to make an appointment.

“Gov. Justice tasked DHHR with figuring out a vaccination registration and scheduling tool for West Virginians to use,” said Bill J. Crouch, DHHR Cabinet Secretary. “This new service allows West Virginians to directly enter their information into the computer, or with assistance from the Vaccine Info Line, and will keep folks from having to call multiple times to our local health departments whose phone lines are already overwhelmed.”

The system offers West Virginians the ability to pre-register, receive real-time updates on vaccine availability and schedule an appointment to get vaccinated when supplies allow, a DHHR press release states. Individuals can opt to receive regular communication updates on West Virginia’s vaccination process. The system allows people to select their preferences for communication through texts, email or voicemails over regular phone lines.

Any West Virginian who does not have the ability to register online can call the COVID-19 Vaccine Info Line at 1-833-734-0965 to get help with pre-registration. The call center is active from Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

At this time, West Virginians 65 years of age and older and certain high-risk priority groups who are pre-registered will receive a text, phone call or email with an appointment once it is available to their group and in their geographical area. Those who are not in the current priority groups are able to pre-register online and will be offered an appointment when eligible based on limited supply.

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