CABELL COUNTY, WV (WOWK) — West Virginia communities are still racing to vaccinate everyone eligible, and it is an effort now being helped by volunteers from around the nation.
The lines at the St. Mary’s Education Center vaccination drive-thru have been steadily rolling on for weeks.
“We’ve been very busy! We have a lot of second doses coming through. We’ve done a thousand in two days and we’re somewhere around two [hundred] to two-fifty today,” says Marsha Knight, the director of education for Cabell County Emergency Medical Services (EMS).
Recently, the process of getting COVID-19 shots in arms has been aided by some national help in Cabell County.
“We’ve had a lot of support from AmeriCorps sending some of their employees down,” Knight says.
AmeriCorps NCCC is a full-time service program where young adults aid in communities across the country—and now, they are serving the Cabell County community.
“We’ve been here about three weeks, and we’ve got about two weeks left. Our mission here is to distribute vaccines. We’re all over the place in West Virginia, we have multiple sites over the week,” says Ethan Stupica, who is a team leader for AmeriCorps NCCC.
Cabell County EMS officials at the drive-thru vaccination site say the extra hands have been a huge help.
“They take the load off of us with the registration, we have our vaccinators and we are doing the data entry so their help is very very beneficial to us,” Knight says.
The group of volunteers at the site have roots from all over the country:
“We have some from Seattle, we had a girl from Buffalo, Colorado, Idaho, Ohio, Missouri; we got it all,” says Lili Gonzalez, a volunteer with AmeriCorps NCCC.
Local people in the community say they are surprised and grateful for the national help.
“I was actually really shocked by that. I thought they were maybe like college students, you know, locals. I didn’t realize they came from all over the country so that’s really amazing that they came to West Virginia just to help us out,” says Ta’Marra Cook, who got her second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Although the team helping Cabell County will be leaving in a few weeks, volunteers say their organization will be helping the area for the long haul.
“They will send multiple teams to vaccination sites definitely in this county until…[we] kinda get everything under control,” Stupica says.
The drive-thru vaccination site at St. Mary’s Education Center is available to do first and second doses. You can visit them Wednesday through Friday from 8:00am to 4:00pm for those 16 and older, no appointment necessary.
For more information about vaccination sites in Cabell County, visit the Cabell-Huntington Health Department’s website here.
For more information about AmeriCorps NCCC, visit their website here.