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W.Va. volunteer organization hosts first vaccine event of its kind in the nation

Release Date Release Number
R3-21-NR 025
Release Date:
March 17, 2021

Count West Virginia’s volunteer organizations among the “firsts” in the state’s successful vaccination efforts.

West Virginia Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (WV VOAD) held a mobile vaccination clinic at its state headquarters in Belle, W.Va., last Thursday that is the first VOAD-sponsored event in the country.

Supported by VOAD staff, volunteers from the West Virginia Council of Churches, Ore’s Clendenin Pharmacy, FEMA Corps and the West Virginia Joint Interagency Task Force (JIATF), including the National Guard and FEMA, the clinic administered all 100 percent of the 275 allocated doses of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.

“FEMA has always been able to count on VOAD for disaster relief in everything from housing to providing necessities and comfort families in West Virginia experiencing challenging times,” said Janice Barlow, Acting Regional Administrator, FEMA Region 3. “I’m not surprised that WV VOAD is leading the way again in the nation’s vaccine effort. FEMA is honored to provide resources for VOAD’s humanitarian mission.”

With staff from the JIATF and Clendenin Pharmacy serving as vaccinators, members from participating groups served as greeters, checking in and directing vehicles down the lot for registration, data managers for inputting information into the Vaccine Administration Management System (VAMS), and monitors for participants following vaccination.

“It’s really flowed well,” said Jenny Gannaway, Executive Director of WV VOAD. “Other VOADS have helped at vaccine clinics, but we’re the first to actually host. The help from the Council of Churches has been tremendous.”

Under the vaccination canopy, the Rev. Jeffrey Allen assembled vaccination kits with loaded syringes, alcohol swabs and adhesive bandages.

“I’m delighted to be a part,” he said. “I’m pleased at the turnout; we’ll have to do more. That it’s been for largely underserved communities means so much.”

The next WV VOAD vaccine clinic is set for March 25 in Belle.

Find out about WV VOAD and how you can volunteer at www.wvvoad.org or nationally at www.nvoad.org. Keep track of West Virginia’s coronavirus response at coronavirus.wv.gov. State residents can register for their COVID-19 vaccine and find local vaccination events at vaccinate.wv.gov.

A woman elps check in participants at the mobile vaccination clinic sponsored by West Virginia Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters.

Caption: Idalis Barrientos, of Beeville, Texas, helps check in participants at the mobile vaccination clinic sponsored by West Virginia Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters (WV VOAD) at its headquarters in Belle, W.Va., on March 11, 2021. Barrientos is a member of the AmeriCorps FEMA Corps team assigned to work at WV VOAD. (Philip Maramba/FEMA)

A man assembles vaccination kits at the mobile vaccination clinic sponsored by West Virginia Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters

Caption: Rev. Jeffrey Allen, of Charleston, W.Va., assembles vaccination kits at the mobile vaccination clinic sponsored by West Virginia Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters (WV VOAD) at its headquarters in Belle, W.Va., on March 11, 2021. Allen is executive director of the West Virginia Council of Churches, one of the volunteer groups active with WV VOAD. (Philip Maramba/FEMA)

A vaccinator from Ore’s Clendenin Pharmacy in Clendenin, W.Va., administers the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine at the mobile vaccination clinic.

Caption: A vaccinator from Ore’s Clendenin Pharmacy in Clendenin, W.Va., administers the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine at the mobile vaccination clinic sponsored by West Virginia Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters (WV VOAD) at its headquarters in Belle, W.Va., on March 11, 2021. The event was the nation’s first VOAD-sponsored vaccination clinic. (Philip Maramba/FEMA)

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Last updated March 17, 2021