CUMBERLAND, Md. — Following the success of their first COVID-19 walk-up clinic held downtown, organizers from local groups hope to reach even more people in need of COVID-19 immunization during a Dec. 4 clinic.
While the previous clinic was held outdoors on the Baltimore Street pedestrian mall earlier this month, the coming event will be held at Archway Station’s wellness center, located at 121 Memorial Ave. Organizers are hopeful that the indoor location and weekend timing will help make it more accessible than the last, which resulted in 164 folks getting first, second or booster doses of the coronavirus vaccine.
Volunteers from the Allegany County Women’s Action Coalition will also be on site handing out drinks and snacks to attendees. They’ll also offer a raffle for a $50 Save A Lot grocery store gift card for vaccinated people. Organizer Jeff Hedrick, who runs the Facebook page Cumberland COVID Watch, said that partnering with the group made perfect sense as both his page and the coalition are socially-minded.
“They’re in line with a lot of the things we’re trying to do in terms of community health, so it was perfect,” Hedrick said. “I’ve been about getting electrolytes into you since I had my second shot and figured out how beneficial that is, so I was trying to figure out a way to make that happen.”
The new location, Hedrick said, will hopefully allow more people to take part, and holding it indoors will protect them from the elements, which is necessary as it gets colder outside.
Vaccinations for kids ages 5-11 will also be offered..
“Part of the reason we did the whole thing is because we were each as our own separate entities individually concerned about access to the vaccine, and to testing for people who don’t have as much mobility as other people as far as vehicles,” Hedrick said. “So, we’re hoping that we can use this as an opportunity to get more people their first shot.”
WAC member Janet Lawler Heavner agreed that her group’s participation suits their focus on community-oriented events well.
“We’re just trying to also get the word out and to do our best to fight misinformation,” Lawler Heavner said. “We’re really hoping that we can increase the vaccination rate in this community, whatever we can do.”
“We are really excited to be able to hold another COVID testing and vaccination clinic,” AHEC West Associate Director Melissa Clark said. “It’s super that Archway is allowing us to use their wellness center. We hope everyone comes out and takes advantage of this opportunity, especially with the holidays coming.”
“Archway has offered outside agencies the opportunity to use our two sites to provide vaccination clinics in order to provide easy access to the community,” Executive Director Jim Raley said in a statement. “Our location at Memorial Avenue lends itself to being in proximity to many who can walk to receive the vaccine. Transportation issues are often a barrier, and should not be, to those who wish to be vaccinated, thus the reason we offer our central location. It is our hope many of our residents and staff will consider the vaccine at this time.”
Transportation can be arranged the day of the event for those in need. Contact AHEC West for further information.