Montgomery County opens healthcare worker vaccine clinic

BLUE BELL, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- It's a shot in the arm for healthcare workers who are part of Group 1A designated to receive the vaccine in Montgomery County.

The Montgomery County Community College gymnasium is now operating as a make-shift COVID-19 vaccination clinic. The county estimates there are 20,000 eligible healthcare workers in this category.

Hearing from the healthcare staff who have gone through the process everything here is well-spaced, well organized and operating smoothly. Some who got the shot are already back to work.

Nydja Johnson is a registered nurse in a Montgomery County Psychiatric hospital. She received her first Moderna vaccine dose on Wednesday.

"Of course COVID is causing havoc so I want to do everything I can to protect my family and my patients," said Nurse Nydja Johnson, Mount Airy.

Though Johnson does not live in Montgomery County, she is eligible for a vaccination because of her place of employment.

"We are taking the approach that if you live or work or go to school here you can get vaccinated and I believe the surrounding counties are taking that same approach," said County Commissioner Dr. Val Arkoosh.

"I'm giving thumbs up because I see a lot of people of color here which I wanted to see, it's just overjoying," Willie Mae Bell, Nurse MontCo Office of Public Health.

After a temperature check, and answering survey questions, healthcare providers are then sent to socially distant lines, where they wait for their vaccination. They get the vaccine and head over to the gymnasium bleachers to wait for 15 minutes to check for any adverse reactions.

"Just to make sure that everything is good. We actually have an ambulance unit here just to stand by just in case there's any problems," said Dr. Arkoosh.

Dentist Robert Solomon says his medical association was very communicative, and the process was easy.

"I've waited longer at the regular doctor's appointment," said Solomon.

Typically Montgomery County receives 2,000 vaccine doses each week. This week, they got 3,000 and plan on vaccinating anywhere from 600 to 800 people today alone.

But Dr. Val Arkoosh, Montgomery County Commissioner says there is a need for more doses.

"We asked for 5,000 doses for this week and we received only 3,000 its frustrating. We have tens of thousands of people who want to be vaccinated," said Dr. Arkoosh.
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