During the height of the pandemic, the Weber-Morgan Health Department distributed about 2,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine daily. Now, that’s dipped down to about 2,000 doses weekly, but the health department is getting creative in getting it out to the community.
The health department holds mass vaccine clinics regularly. For the last few months, Weber State University’s Dee Events Center has been the home of the health department’s largest, regular clinics.
However, since May fewer people are showing up to the mass clinics. Nonetheless, health officials said that doesn’t mean the need for the vaccine isn’t still there. Weber-Morgan Health Department Emergency Services Manager Skyler Pyle added, “Maybe there are community partners, or individuals, who are unable to make it to the mass clinic for a variety of reasons. Whether that be their choice or people work two jobs. People don’t have time and it’s inconvenient to some degree.”
To make the vaccine more accessible, the health department now offers 30 doses daily out of it’s Ogden office. Those who are interested can make an appointment by calling 801-399-7250.
Using data from the mass clinics, the department also sets up mobile clinics in neighborhoods that may have lower vaccine rates. These clinics don’t vaccinate the large numbers of people the mass clinics do but Pyle says every dose is worth it.
They’re usually set up on a Saturday and offer drive-thru style vaccinations. On many occasions entire families get vaccinated at these types of clinics. While the health department encourages people to register ahead of time, walk-ins are welcome.
“It’s a lot more logistics and strategic needed to make sure the clinics, traffic control, things of that nature (work),” said Pyle. “(It also requires) having more bodies available to do all those extra jobs when you’re outdoors with all the elements.”
Those extra jobs are often filled by members of the Utah National Guard, “and that’s where we really help the counties out by being able to give them the manpower,” explained Medical Support Team Captain Jeremy Metzger. “We like to call ourselves man power.com.”
With all the ways to get vaccinated, Pyle says about 50% of eligible people in the health district have received at least one dose of the vaccine. She, and everyone at the health department plan on working throughout the summer and fall to get as many people fully vaccinated as possible, even if it’s one person at a time.
To date, the Weber-Morgan Health Department has administered more than 102,000 doses of the vaccine at it’s clinics and reports that an additional 90,000 have been dosed out through community partners.