Health department receives first shipment of COVID vaccine

Submitted to the Enterprise
Dr. Onwe, of WVU Medicine Barnesville Hospital, receives the COVID-19 vaccine recently.

ST. CLAIRSVILLE – Belmont County Health Department received its first shipment of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine on Dec. 22.

Three-hundred doses will be administered to high-risk health-care workers in the first phase.

"My director of nursing has been on the phone contacting people within the 1A Phase that we're responsible for vaccinating, trying to set up appointments so we can get the vaccine out to them," Belmont County Deputy Health Commissioner Rob Sproul said.

Those in line first are EMS personnel, hospice home health, primary care physicians not covered under a health care system or a hospital, and some dental facilities.

The health department is experiencing a high call volume of people inquiring about the vaccine. When it will be available to everyone will depend on pharmaceutical company production.

"The general public, we're asking them to be patient, it's going to be a while before we get to that level," Sprouse said.

Sproul is unsure when the second shipment will arrive.

Two days later the department released updated information on the virus’s impact on the county.

There are 44 new COVID-19 cases in the county.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, there have been 3,320 positive cases with 2,168 recovered.

There have been 58 people hospitalized and 63 reported deaths.