By Matt de Simone
Last Friday, residents of Botetourt County who fell under the 1B category received their first dose of the Moderna vaccine for COVID-19. The clinic opened at 11 a.m. and closed at 3 p.m.
The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) targeted specific Zip Codes in Botetourt County to find residents 65 and older. Phone calls were made and specific times were given for citizens to arrive and get vaccinated. This mitigated having to worry if residents had means of using the Internet to register. As soon as people showed up, the VDH registered them into the system on location at the church.
Mary Kate Bowser, VDH Nurse Manager for Roanoke/Alleghany Health District, oversaw the “strike team.” The VDH scheduled a limit of 150 people for the event. By 1 p.m., already 100 Botetourt County residents had received their vaccination.
“This is our first clinic where we dosed 150 people,” Bowser stated. “Our plan is to do a strike team every Wednesday and Friday somewhere in the district.”
This is one of the first events held by the VDH. Up until this point most vaccination events have been planned and held at the Berglund Center in Roanoke.
“We couldn’t have done this without the Medical Reserve Corps,” Bowser continued. “They are quite amazing. They have to learn a new computer system in a short time. I’m super-impressed with how it’s working.”
Bowser and MRC volunteers gave 154 COVID-19 vaccinations last Friday. The individuals were pulled from the statewide pre-registration list at vaccinate.virginia.gov. The strike team will return in a few weeks to re-register and supply those individuals with their second round of vaccinations.