Berkeley County hits its stride in vaccinating residents

West Virginia

Angela Gray, at right, is nurse director for the Berkeley-Morgan County Health Department and says communication has been the key to a successful vaccine operation in Martinsburg.

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. (WDVM) — The vaccine rollout all across the U.S. got off to a slow start. But West Virginia’s eastern panhandle is putting needles in arms, and it seems to be running like clockwork.

There are stories everywhere about seniors having to wait in long lines for their dose and registration websites crashing. Not here.

Says Alejandria Matyas upon getting her vaccination “It’s been a very, very good experience.”

The Berkeley-Morgan County Health Department has partnered with the West Virginia University Hospital System, the National Guard and local sheriff departments for a smoothly-run operation.

“It’s going terrific,” says Thom Kidd, a WVU physician assistant, at the Berkeley Medical Center. “I absolutely love what we’re doing. We’re getting a lot of people vaccinated. And we feel this is the way to stop this virus or at least slow it down.”

And for Matyas, getting vaccinated brought a big smile to her face and a huge sense of relief. She is effusive in her praise for how well-run things are in Martinsburg.

“I’ve been praying for this,” Matyas says with a broad smile.”And I thank all of the ones that are doing this, the ones that are giving the shots and the ones that are helping coordinate all of this. It is so well organized. Just perfect. I love them all.”

And how to explain the efficiency? Angela Gray is the Berkeley-Morgan County nurse director and says, “I think the key is communication. That is what’s going to keep us moving forward and getting enough vaccine out to everyone who wants it.”

And, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, West Virginia is second only to Alaska for its share of total state population that has received at least one dose of the vaccine.

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