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County’s vaccine efforts gaining momentum

Fulton County government completed its largest one-day vaccination during the COVID-19 pandemic Thursday at Fulton-Montgomery Community College in Johnstown. (The Leader-Herald/Michael Anich)

JOHNSTOWN — Fulton County government last week completed its largest one-day vaccination during the COVID-19 pandemic.

It was the seventh such COVID vaccination event held by the county.

Hundreds of people took advantage of receiving the vaccination in pre-arranged inoculation that took place during the day Thursday in a POD (Point of Dispensing) at Fulton-Montgomery Community College. There were no walk-ins allowed and participants receiving the Moderna vaccine had to have prior authorization from their primary care physicians to receive the first of two COVID shots. First shot participants were instructed to report back April 1 for the second shot.

The Fulton County Board of Supervisors’ office on Friday issued a news release indicating over 600 area residents received the vaccine Thursday at the FMCC campus.

Lines stretched outside the Public Safety Building, but eventually inside into the FMCC gym, where public health staff set up lines of vaccinations in an orderly fashion. After being administered the vaccine, patients were asked to wait for 15 minutes in the back of the gym before departing.

The release said the Board of Supervisors was “proud to report” that Thursday’s vaccination was the Fulton County Public Health Department’s largest one-day COVID-19 vaccination to date.

Public Health Department staff — working with Emergency Management Office employees and community volunteers –vaccinated the hundreds of people during the day.

“The POD ran smoothly and briskly throughout the day with a total of six vaccination stations operating,” the release said. “By the end of the busy day, over 400 first doses had been completed and just over 200 second dose visits had finished.”

The vaccinations included the state-approved groups of essential workers Phase 1B, persons with medical comorbidities and seniors age 65 and older. In addition, there were several smaller POD’s for frontline healthcare workers, Thursday’s POD marked the seventh first dose POD and fourth second dose POD completed by Fulton County forces, officials said.

County Administrative Officer Jon Stead stated: “These vaccination PODs require a lot of organization and cooperation within a very short time period. Watching our Public Health Department and Emergency Management Office put these together is great.”

“The vaccination sites operated by the Public Health Department have all run efficiently. The board really appreciates the efforts of the county employees making this work,” added Board of Supervisors Chairman Jack Callery.

Stead also encouraged senior citizens to contact local pharmacies because more vaccine is flowing to local pharmacies in recent weeks with appointments opening on a daily basis. The county is also working to identify additional sources of vaccine on an ongoing basis, officials said.

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