Mercer County residents receive second doses of COVID-19 vaccine

PRINCETON, WV (WOAY) – Mercer County has begun distribution of second round doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

These are the first people in the county and some of the first in the entire state to gain the full benefits of the vaccine. 

Stacey Hicks, CEO of Princeton Rescue Squad and Mercer County Board of Health Member, says that he’s pleased to see vaccines roll out so quickly.

“To think that, within less than a year, we’ve got a vaccine already out, putting in peoples’ arms. Where 50 years ago it would have taken 10 years or longer to develop,” Hicks said.

The clinic was held at the Karen Preservati Center in Princeton. The building serves as a community center and also a training location for the Princeton Rescue Squad.

The Rescue Squad is hosting the clinic, and with help from other organizations, has ensured that everyone scheduled gets their second dose.

“One of the First things that we’ve done with this building is a blessing for us. Because this is a community building. That’s what it was built for, and it’s just great for the Rescue Squad to be hosting this.”

This clinic is also one of the first in the county to be held indoors. Logistics Chairman with the Mercer County Health Department Roger Topping says that since vaccine clinics started, residents and staff have had to brave the cold weather for hours while administering shots.

“We had a clinic at the Church of God and we did several hundred doses that day and it was cold. Could you imagine having been outside in this bitter cold and having people drive through and our staff be exposed to this cold weather?,” Topping said.

A total of 448 doses were available today to those that had already received their first dose and been scheduled. And within the next week, they’ll have the full benefits of the vaccine.

Topping added that the Mercer County Health Department is hopeful to continue using the Preservati Center as a dedicated vaccine clinic location.

Tomorrow’s clinic for first round doses will be held at the Preservati Center as well, and the health department is calling those who have pre-registered to schedule a time to come in.