MORGANTOWN — The latest information from officials representing Monongalia County’s newly announced vaccination super site is that the official sign-up procedure to get on the COVID-19 vaccine list is through vaccinate.wv.gov.
You can also call 833-734-0965 if you need assistance with that process. If you’re already registered locally through the health department, you do not need to go through that process.
Earlier this week, WVU Medicine, Mon Health, the Monongalia County Health Department and the Monongalia County Commission announced the creation of a vaccination center, complete with its own sign-up procedures, in the former Sears store in the Morgantown Mall.
“We had a press conference on Monday. The state announced Friday that they were announcing Everbridge right at the time we’re working on the super vaccination center with its own registration system,” Monongalia County Commission President Sean Sikora said during a briefing from County Health Officer Dr. Lee Smith.
Everbridge is the name of the company providing West Virginia’s statewide vaccination pre-registration tool, accessed through the URL listed above.
The pivot is a reminder that even in a state being lauded for its handling of the vaccine rollout, the situation is rapidly evolving and very much in flux.
And confusing — particularly when the vaccination priorities are changed midstream.
Members of the commission expressed frustration that Charleston initially rolled out a phased plan that included personnel deemed critical to infrastructure and continuity of government, but has since switched to an entirely age-based focus.
Sikora said the result of this was evident during recent snowfalls, when both the city of Morgantown and the West Virginia Division of Highways struggled to clear roads due to staffing. He went on to say employees in some county offices have been vaccinated while others have not, and it’s starting to cause friction within county government.
“I want Charleston to know that continuity of government is important. I’m not arguing for myself. I’ll get the shot when my age comes up. But there are employees that are fearful of coming to work who provide vital services to our citizens and need to be vaccinated. That has all stopped,” Sikora said.
The argument was not lost on Smith, even if the decision is not his to make.
“I understand and I hear it on a daily basis. I’m concerned about the bus drivers and the school teachers and the people who keep the continuity of government going … We will try to work those in as doses become available,” he said.
One of the driving factors behind launching the joint vaccination center is demonstrating to Charleston that Monongalia County can handle a great deal more than the 620 doses it currently receives each week.
“All 55 counties get a minimum of 200 doses a week. That will continue for the next couple weeks. Then it’s my assumption, and I’m out here on a limb a little bit, that at some point in time some of the smaller, more rural facilities probably will have fulfilled a great many of their people and may not need 200 a week,” Smith said. “So we’re in a position to absorb those extra doses as they become available.”
Sikora said the vaccination center at full capacity could vaccinate 8,000 people a day.
The entire state of West Virginia currently gets about 26,000 doses weekly, according to Smith.