Area health organizations are attempting to make it convenient for individuals in Macon and surrounding counties to protect themselves from the COVID-19 virus.

The Macon County Health Department and Macon Community Hospital are partnering together to hold a COVID-19 drive-thru vaccine clinic this Saturday in the front parking lot at Macon County High School.

“We want to help everyone who wants the vaccine to get the vaccine,” said Stacy Brawner, the director of marketing and community outreach/volunteer services/patient advocate at Macon Community Hospital. “COVID-19 has caused many sicknesses and death. If you get the COVID vaccine, you protect yourself while protecting others.”

At the end of last week, more than 8,500 vaccines have been given in Macon County, but less than 16% of the population in Macon County was fully-vaccinated, leaving the county ranking among the bottom fourth of the state.

Statewide, the percentage of the population fully-vaccinated is less than 26%.

“We want everyone, if they can, to get the vaccine,” Brawner said.

Individuals who attend the free drive-thru event will receive the Moderna vaccine.

Individuals can participate in the event — which will last from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. — regardless of whether they have not been vaccinated yet or even if they have received the first of the two doses, as long as it has been 28 days since their first injection.

Individuals who have received the first dose need to take their vaccination card, and a staff member will mark their card accordingly.

Staff members will provide first-dose individuals with a new vaccination card for their records.

The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines require two doses.

In Macon County, the percentage of the population that has received the vaccine increases steadily with each age group. More than 40% of the population in the 70 and older age groups have received the vaccine, and more than 31% of individuals age 61-70 have received the vaccine.

The percentages decline with age, with 21% of the county’s population between 51 and 60 having received the vaccine and just 15% of those in the 41-50 age group having gotten the vaccine.

“After getting the vaccine, you can gather indoors and outdoors,” Brawner said. “You are not worried about the virus then.”

Macon Community Hospital plans to give away 250 $25 gift cards to Walmart for individuals who receive the vaccine on Saturday.

Depending on how Saturday’s event goes, there could be another COVID-19 drive-thru vaccination clinic planned.

“If this turns out a great success, we will probably have another COVID vaccine 28 days later (for individuals to receive the second dose),” Brawner said.

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