• 50°

About 450 vaccinated at Troup County Bus Barn

By: Hunter Riggall

 

On Friday morning and afternoon, a steady stream of cars made their way through the Troup County Bus Barn, stopping to receive doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.

Approximately 450 people were scheduled to get a shot, according to Leslie Leonard, county nurse manager for the Troup County Health Department.

“I feel like we’re making a little difference, that we’ve worked for this so long and it’s been around and, even though we’re in the peak, that there’s still some light at the end of the tunnel,” Leonard said.

The vaccines were administered by the health department for eligible recipients who were lucky enough to get an appointment. The process was quick and easy, recipients said.

After stopping at the entrance and having someone confirm their appointment, cars made their way to another station to have their paperwork checked and get information about the vaccine.

ID’s were checked to confirm people’s age in the case of first responders and healthcare workers, badges were shown.

Vaccine recipients have to bring a filed-out consent form or fill one out on site.

The shots themselves were given in two lanes at the open-air repair shed, where nurses met recipients at their window and asked questions about their health.

Then came the shot and a Band-Aid. Each recipient received a card telling them which vaccine they received and the earliest date they could receive a second shot.

Recipients had to wait near the exit for 15 minutes before they could leave, in order to make sure they didn’t have any immediate negative reaction to the vaccine.

Recipients said they had the vaccine in their arm within 15-20 minutes of arrival. With the extra 15 minutes of waiting before leaving, the process lasted just 30 minutes for most.

Lucas Whitney said it couldn’t have been more efficient.

“I feel great. I’m very blessed and I appreciate the Troup County Health Department performing this extremely well,” Whitney said.

Pamela Masters, a healthcare liaison for the health department, said demand was high, and some tried to get vaccinated without an appointment.

“We had a line outside the gate at eight. A lot of folks in the line early this morning didn’t realize that they needed to have an appointment,” Masters said.

Masters said the appointments, even if difficult to schedule, made the vaccination process orderly, preventing a disorganized free-for-all.

“We definitely don’t want to have elders camping out overnight, you know, trying to be first … you know we’re not going to run out of the vaccine, because every appointment is matched to an actual dose,” Masters said.

Appointments started at 9 — the last block was at 2:45 p.m.

District 4 Public Health opened an online form for eligible people to fill out over the weekend. Health department workers began calling people back on Monday to schedule appointments. The form was taken down and replaced with a phone number, which was quickly flooded with calls.

Troup residents reported calling hundreds of times, only to receive a busy line or be told the queue was full.