COVID-19 Vaccines at Wayne County Fair
(Honesdale, July 26, 2021)…Hoping to help increase vaccination rates in the area and make accessing the vaccines easier, Wayne Memorial Community Health Centers and Wayne Memorial Hospital plan to offer first doses of both the Pfizer-BioNTech and the Moderna COVID-19 vaccines at the Wayne County Fair off Route 191 North in Honesdale. All individuals age 12 and up are eligible for the Pfizer vaccine; however, parental consent and presence will be required for adolescents. The Moderna vaccine is approved only for use by those age 18 and older.
The no-cost vaccines will be available from Friday, August 6th through Saturday, August 14th, from 3:00pm – 7:30pm. No appointment will be necessary, and recipients will be advised on how to acquire the second dose. Fair vaccine recipients will also receive a complimentary t-shirt.
“We are committed to helping people access COVID vaccines,” said Frederick Jackson, executive director Wayne Memorial Community Health Centers (WMCHC). He noted that his staff has already administered close to 32,000 COVID-19 doses and the hospital approximately 12,000 since the vaccines became available last December.
James Hockenbury, director of Wayne Memorial Hospital’s Ancillary Services, echoed Jackson, saying “this is the right thing to do for the community, and we are a community hospital.“ Hockenbury called the fair a “perfect venue because it draws such a large crowd, and we hope fair visitors who have not been vaccinated will take advantage of our convenient service and help get the numbers up.”
The vaccines will be administered out of the hospital’s Hearing Solutions mobile van, which will be parked near the fair entrance for easy and visible access. Both Jackson and Hockenbury said that medical providers will also be on hand to answer questions about the vaccine’s safety and efficacy.
WMCHC Medical Director James Cruse, MD, admitted there is a real need in the area to increase vaccination rates. “Right now, the vaccination rate in Wayne County is about 53% for one dose and a little less for fully vaccinated. We feel it could—and should—be much higher.”
Dr. Cruse strongly advises people who are not vaccinated to weigh the consequences of continuing on that path. “The benefits of the vaccine far outweigh the risks of getting this horrible disease,” he said. “There is a lot of information out there, some of it false and exaggerated. Talk to someone you trust, like your family doctor. And if you decide to get vaccinated, we’re here to help.”
WMCHC currently offers COVID vaccines at two of its physician offices, Highland Physicians Family Health Center and Honesdale Pediatrics.
Both Jackson and Hockenbury thanked the Wayne County Fair administration for allowing them to use the site “for this very important community service.”
For more information about the vaccines and COVID, visit COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) – Wayne Memorial Hospital (wmh.org)
Photo: Sarah Mickel, LPN, administers a COVID-19 vaccine to Thomas Bajadek at the former Rusty Palmer’s in Honesdale in March.