WISE COUNTY, Va. (WJHL) — The wait is over for hundreds of vulnerable Wise County, Virginia residents at a health clinic who have been waiting on a COVID-19 vaccine for several months.
In February, News Channel 11 brought you a story regarding The Health Wagon clinic which had not received a drop of the vaccines from the state.
After pleas to state officials, the clinic received its first shipment of the coronavirus vaccines nearly one month later.
“Well, it’s made me very happy that Dr. Teresa Tyson and Dr. Paula Hill have been in touch with the governor, trying to get these vaccines to southwest Virginia, where we do have needy people and people that needs them who have no other resources to get the vaccines. So, it’s been a big step and we’re just very grateful and very thankful,” The Health Wagon Board of Trustees member Sheilah Collins told Pheben Kassahun.
Collins said it is an honor to tend to the nearly 500 vulnerable people who were waiting.
“We have had people that’s been on a waiting list for approximately four months. Our first patient was 83 years old,” she said.
Patients lined up in their cars in the culdesac near the clinic to receive their very first dose of the Moderna vaccine.
Robert Owens and his wife, Roxanna Owens said they have been on the waiting list since September. He praised Tyson for her work.
“Teresa is awesome. In this area, you can’t beat her. She will do anything she can and will go way beyond measures to try to help anybody,” Robert Owens said.
The couple is part of a group of 50 who received their first dose Thursday morning.
“During this pandemic, we’ve lost family members to this COVID. Several. That’s why we’re out today to do our part and get vaccinated as quickly as we can to try and put a stop to this,” Roxanna Owens said.
The staff at The Health Wagon has organized the vaccine to be administered in drive-thru fashion.
One-hundred Moderna vaccines were given to the clinic and will continue this way on a weekly basis.
“We’re trying to do 10 patients per hour,” Collins said. “They will fill out their paperwork and then get their vaccine and then they wait approximately 20 minutes afterwards.”
“Scary times and it’s just a blessing to be able to get this started and to get it over with,” Robert Owens said. “Which, I trust in God myself for all things but it’s just amazing to get things started here today to get these shots took care of and all the people in this area.”
The Health Wagon plans to administer the vaccines in drive-thru fashion two days a week from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.