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Health department to have new COVID booster next week

SALYERSVILLE – The bivalent COVID-19 vaccine will be available in a drive-thru format at the Magoffin County Health Department starting Tuesday.

Salyersville Mayor and Magoffin County Public Health Director James “Pete” Shepherd told Mortimer Media Group the Moderna bivalent vaccine will be available on Tuesday, October 4, at the Magoffin County Health Department and people will not have to get out of their cars to be administered the newest-approved booster.

Shepherd said, “We plan next Tuesday to have a drive-thru clinic. The state is wanting all of the health departments, in case of emergencies, to be able to have people drive through to get vaccines and medications and stuff like that in case of a disaster, so we’re going to use that as one of our trainings. We’ll being doing that with vaccine and with the flu shot. You can get your flu shot and the vaccine at the same time, but you will stay in your car, and you’ll drive around to different stations set up at the health department to get your vaccine and your flu shot.”

Currently, this is a one-time event, but Shepherd said they hope to receive another 100 doses of the bivalent vaccine, to be administered inside the health department the next Tuesday, if received from the state.

Shepherd said people can receive both shots at the same time, but flu shots are administered every day at the health department if people would rather stagger the doses.

Doses of the bivalent booster have also been allocated locally to Hope Family Medical Center and Walgreens.

The weekly case counts in Magoffin are running in the mid-30s, currently, down from the low 100s in August, however, tracking those numbers will be more difficult moving forward.

“The doctors and hospitals put all of the positive cases in the system, which is where we go in each day, and we can see how many COVID-positive cases we have in the county.” Shepherd said on Tuesday this week. “As of today, they’re ending that. They’re not going to be reporting to that system anymore, so we won’t have that information available at the health department to tell you how many cases there are each day.”

Shepherd said he wasn’t sure about the state’s reasoning for the change, but said that is how it will be moving forward, pending any other spikes in cases in the future.

“Yes, it is significant,” Shepherd said. “The state still gets their numbers, and they will probably continue to put what stage we’re in with the virus – red, yellow, etc. – but it’s significant because we look at those numbers every day and we look at the people on it, especially if it’s school related, following up with them to see how that’s going. Evidently, at the state level they find that information is no longer needed at the health departments, so we won’t be getting it.”

Currently, Magoffin County is in the yellow category, deemed at a medium community level for the spread of COVID-19.

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