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Hundreds aged 80-plus get vaccinated in Trumbull

BAZETTA — Hundreds of people lined up Wednesday morning at the Trumbull County Fairgrounds to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

The Trumbull County Combined Health District was able to provide nearly 550 shots to people 80 or older, but was also prepared to give more if necessary.

“We’re looking to give out 550 but it could be 600. Some people may have gotten confused or are supposed to come tomorrow but came today, so we’re prepared to give out 600,” said Sandy Swann, the health district’s director of nursing.

Starting at 9 a.m. the health department, and many volunteers, were prepared to distribute the vaccine. The plan was for the individuals getting the shot to remain in their vehicle and then pull in, two cars at a time, to the old Bazetta fire station.

Swann said there were about 13 nurses and more than 30 people in total to help make the process as easy as possible.

“We couldn’t do it without the volunteers. We’re so thankful for them,” she said.

Many of the people from the first wave expressed their gratitude for being able to get the shot and a common theme among many is that getting the vaccine is the right thing to do.

Paul Hogan, 81, from Niles, said his motive for getting the shot was to protect himself from the virus.

Another couple, Gary and Donna Rodgers, 81 and 79, respectively, from McDonald shared the sentiment. Gary said the reason he wanted to get it was because he “didn’t want to die.”

For 82-year-old Sue Sperling, from Howland, the reason for getting the vaccine was more personal.

“We want to end this thing so we can go back to some kind of normalcy in our lives. I’d like to hug my grandchildren and my children. I haven’t been able to do that since March of last year,” Sperling said. “As a widow, alone, that’s really depressing. I want this to be over and I know we’re doing everything we can and I hope this works.”

Both Sperling and Donna Rodgers were impressed at how easy the registration process was for signing up to get the vaccine.

“I called the number they gave, got a call back, made my appointment and here I am,” Sperling said.

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