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Lucas County Health Department and Mercy Health staff team up to vaccinate 1,900 community members

Thanks to a collaboration between the Health Department and Mercy Health, 1,900 doses of the Pfizer vaccine were administered to Lucas County residents.
Published: Mar. 2, 2021 at 8:20 PM EST
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MAUMEE, Ohio (WTVG) - In and out. Individuals who received their COVID-19 vaccine Tuesday at the Lucas County Recreation Center praised the speed and kindness of staff members administering injections.

“Everything is very efficient,” said vaccine recipient Billie Bell. “We got the Pfizer today, and it has worked out amazingly well.”

“I know the lines look long at times, but really truly it’s 20 minutes or less from the front door through to the vaccine,” said Mercy Health Nurse and vaccine distributor Cherri Periatt.

Volunteers at Tuesday’s event administered 1,9000 COVID-19 vaccines. Lucas County Health Department staff and Mercy Health employees worked together to give as many doses as they had in stock. Mercy nurses Kim Mullins and Cheri Periatt were among those on the frontlines.

“It gives a great sense of pride that we’re doing this and helping our community,” said Kim Mullins.

“It’s been a great honor to be out here in the community,” said Cheri Periatt. “I know we serve our community in the hospital, but it’s been a super great honor for us to actually be out here in the community serving the people.”

Health Department and Mercy Health staff prepare and load syringes with the Pfizer vaccine on...
Health Department and Mercy Health staff prepare and load syringes with the Pfizer vaccine on site.(Jack Bassett)

On Monday Ohio Governor Mike DeWine expanded the vaccine roll out into Phase 1C and Phase 2, offering vaccine access for those age 60 and older, as well as to individuals with select medical conditions including Type 1 Diabetes and ALS. The new phases begin this Thursday, and Mercy Health staff say they will be ready to help the communities next wave.

“It’s a well-oiled machine,” said Periatt. “We have great leadership from the top down, just leading us to make sure we are keeping on track.”

To keep up with the demand, the State of Ohio is expanding those who can help administer COVID-19 vaccines. Health officials are calling on veterinarians to lend their skills to assist with the vaccine distribution process. For the first time in her career veterinarian, Dr. Kate Hissam is lending a helping hand to humans.

“This is just an unprecedented time and the need for volunteers to get vaccines into people’s arms is there,” said Dr. Kate Hissam. “The CDC has allowed veterinarians to cross over to treat humans by administering these vaccines. I have given at least 600 vaccines, I average at least a hundred or a hundred and something a day, at least on a slow day. I’m used to giving lots of vaccines and giving them quickly because my patients usually will bite me.”

Volunteers at the Lucas County Recreation Center’s event hope the painless in and out process will encourage others when able to choose to receive their vaccine.

“Be part of the solution instead of apart of the problem,” said Dr. Hissam. “And part of the solution is getting vaccinated.”

To be vaccinated in Lucas County you first have to sign up online at the Lucas County Health Department’s website. The Lucas County Health Department’s website can also be used to find vaccination locations and can be used to check to see if you now qualify to be vaccinated.

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