MONTGOMERY, WV (WOAY) – The cities of Montgomery and Smithers have partnered with the Fayette County Health Department for a COVID vaccine distribution for seniors over the age of 80.
The health department is doing two distributions, one on Thursday, January 7 at the Ruby Welcome Center and the other this Friday, January 8 at Valley High School in Smithers.
Other health departments have already held their vaccine distributions for seniors, many of them choosing a first-come, first-served format. However, according to the Mayor of Montgomery Greg Ingram, this distribution will be by appointment only.
“It’s much better to do appointments because it does two things: It lets the health department know how many people are going to be there. And if they have more requests than they have shots, then they can tell you that they’ve already issued appointments for all the dosage that they have,” Ingram said.
At other distributions, the first-come, first-served format led to many people waiting in line for hours only to be turned away when the vaccines ran out.
In Mercer County earlier this week, hundreds were turned away and some of the first people in line got there as early as 5 A.M., hours before the distribution would start at 9.
Many Mercer county residents were upset that the distribution was handled in such a way. By doing appointments, the Fayette County Health Department avoids those issues entirely.
“I think it’s very good to do it by appointment. I think it’s just a little better coordinated. If you stood there for two or three hours and then you don’t get shot, it’s a little frustrating.”
There were 75 shots available for each distribution set to happen later this week, totaling 150 vaccines. All of the doses have already been claimed by county residents that called to make an appointment.