EFFINGHAM COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) - Effingham Health System had been working on vaccination plan for quite some time.
“We started in this process actually in September,” says Effingham Health System Chief Nursing Officer Maggie Hendler.
Then just months later, “when it became approved it jumped into high gear,” Hendler added.
Since then they’ve been able to vaccinate roughly 500 people.
Among that number, JoAnne and Alan Kane. Getting their first dose on Wednesday.
“It was easy wasn’t it? And he doesn’t like shots,” said JoAnne.
“It was, it was painless. Yeah, I’m not a big shot guy,” responded Alan.
Luckily if left Alan’s sense of humor well intact.
“It does age you; I was 40 when I walked in here,” joked the 83-year-old, “not true, it was a piece of cake.”
The Kane’s certainly didn’t age much waiting to get the shot.
In fact, it only took about ten days from when they first called to their appointment date.
Impressive when you consider they have about 500 people on their waiting list right now and 300 appointments currently scheduled.
The credit, in part, going to Director of Pharmacy Kameron Huffman and her team.
“If there are people that want to get this vaccine, I want to be there to give it to them,” said Huffman.
Soon she’ll be able help get it to even more people.
“Our goal is to be able to vaccinate roughly 300 to 600 people a week,” Hendler says.
A goal they hope to reach thanks to a large-scale vaccine clinic they plan to open by the end of the month.
“When Maggie (Hendler) brought me the idea of large-scale vaccination clinics I said, ‘Okay, let’s set them up, let’s get this done, let’s help our community,’” said Huffman.
A community that has already turned out in droves.
So much so that Huffman tells me they haven’t had a single dose not make it into an arm.
“I am so excited by the response! It is the only way to turn this around for our community and for our nation as a whole,” Hendler said.
Right now, Effingham Health System says they plan on starting their large-scale vaccine clinic January 25.
If you’d like to schedule an appointment you can call their Retail Pharmacy Center, although they ask that you wait until Friday so they can call those on the wait list first.
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