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Labor of Love

Volunteers help administer vaccinations

More than 600 residents 70 years old and up have received the COVID-19 vaccine in Randolph County during the last two weeks, thanks to hard work put in by employees of the Randolph-Elkins Health Department, the Randolph County Senior Center and Davis Medical Center, as well as community volunteers.

The state sent the vaccine to the health department in multiple batches. Randolph County Senior Center officials volunteered to help by hosting four days worth of vaccinating for seniors 80 and up last week.

“The Senior Center doesn’t get the shipments of vaccine doses,” Laura Ward, executive director of the Randolph County Senior Center, said at the time. “The Randolph-Elkins Health Department receives the shipments. We’re just facilitating, as we have more space. So we’re glad to help out by providing the space and doing the scheduling of appointments.”

More than 100 residents received vaccinations during the events last week. Former Delegate Denise Campbell was among the volunteers who helped administer the shots.

Another shipment of vaccine was sent to Randolph County this week, but health department workers were surprised when it arrived and totaled 500 doses, much more than expected.

Thursday had already been set aside as a day of vaccinations at the Phil Gainer Community Center, and the senior center had already made appointments — but not enough of them, as it turned out.

“We had 500 doses, and I thought, ‘Oh my gosh! I don’t have 500 appointments,'” Bonnie Woodrum, the Randolph-Elkins Health Department’s infectious disease specialist, said.

That’s when Davis Medical Center stepped into the breach. An additional day of vaccinations was added on Wednesday.

“(Davis Medical Center) stepped in and made appointments for (Wednesday),” Woodrum said.

“The hospital volunteers did a great job … it just went like clockwork,” she said, noting that Gov. Jim Justice’s announcement that residents 70 and up were now eligible for vaccinations helped fill up Wednesday’s appointments.

For those Randolph County residents 70 and up who have not yet received their first dose of the vaccine, good news is on the way.

Woodrum said another vaccination event is expected in Randolph County next week. Once the details are announced residents can begin calling for appointments, she added.

She stressed that county officials do not know exactly when the next shipment of vaccine will arrive, but that information and other details will be provided to the public as soon as possible.

The vaccination effort in Randolph County will undoubtedly save lives, and everyone who has lent a hand to make it such a success deserves our thanks.

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