Summit County's drive-thru mass vaccination clinic opens at county fairgrounds

Summit County's drive-thru mass vaccination clinic opens at county fairgrounds
Posted at 9:24 AM, Apr 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-04 09:24:18-04

TALLMADGE, Ohio — More Ohioans are getting access to the COVID-19 vaccine.

The Summit County Fairgrounds mass vaccination site in Tallmadge had its grand opening Saturday where about 1,500 people got a shot in the arm.

Health officials said there were some slight kinks to work out at first, but by the end of the day, they said they were running ahead of schedule.

“Super fast, super easy,” Jennifer Kelly, of Akron, said.

Fast, easy, and efficient.

Those were the words of the day Saturday at the fairgrounds, home to the county’s new drive-thru mass vaccination clinic.

Kelly came to the drive-thru site to get her shot of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine.

“There's a couple of different stations and then the last one, you get your vaccine, and then you're supposed to hang out, make sure nothing happens, and then you just go,” Kelly said.

Then, that process played on repeat 1,500 times over.

“It's a way to get a lot of vaccines pushed quickly when you do a drive-thru,” Summit County Public Health Commissioner Donna Skoda said.

Skoda said they expect to get 5,000 doses of the J&J vaccine each week, with the clinic operating three or four days each week depending on supply.

“If we run short on J&J, we'll switch to Moderna or Pfizer,” Skoda said.

Appointments for the first two dates filled up quickly, but Skoda said there’s plenty of vaccines to go around with the clinic authorized to operate for the next eight weeks.

“Don't be frustrated, we're going to be opening up appointments, there will continue to be appointments. If you didn't get an appointment the first time the first couple times, just keep checking back,” Skoda said.

Those who were lucky enough to get in on the first try told News 5 how it went, and why others should do it too.

“I feel like it was pretty well organized like we didn't know what to expect coming in but everybody was like directing us and I think it moved pretty quickly, given the amount of volume,” Rebecca Cooper, who traveled from Cuyahoga County, said.

“The amount of time out of your day is minor. It's an inconvenience at best, and it can help a lot of people and potentially affect the health of others and everyone around you, so be a good citizen,” Anthony Schievelbein, who also traveled from Cuyahoga County, said.

The clinic will be open again on Wednesday.

Those appointments are full, but appointments for Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday's clinics will open up online sometime before noon on Monday.

Appointments can be scheduled on the state’s scheduling portal. The state’s scheduling portal will only show the fairground site if it has available appointments. More information on how to schedule an appointment can be found here.

Jade Jarvis is a reporter at News 5 Cleveland. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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