COVID-19 vaccine given at music hall
WARREN — Waiting in the below-freezing morning air outside W.D. Packard Music Hall on Tuesday did not bother Liberty residents Tom and Terry Anness, both 79, and their son, Michael, 47, when they went to get their Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.
“I initially was leery about getting the vaccine because of how fast they developed it,” Terry Anness said. “I talked to my doctor, and he made me feel better about it.”
Michael Anness works in health care, so he was eligible to get his shot on the same day as his parents.
“I’m getting this both because I want to be able to be around my parents and I’m concerned about the people I’m working with on my job,” Michael Anness said.
The Warren Health District provided the shots Tuesday morning to a group that included EMS workers, health care workers, and staff and residents of nursing homes, assisted-living facilities and veterans homes.
Diana Shaheen, 68, of Cornersburg, works as a home health aide in Trumbull County and watches her nephews three days per week.
“My job offered me the chance to get the shot,” Shaheen said. “I said if anyone else needed the shot before me I would be eligible to get it soon.”
Shaheen said she does not have the same concerns about getting the vaccine that some people have expressed.
“What options do we really have?” she said. “It is better to be vaccinated than to get sick from the virus. I had the flu about four years ago and that was horrible.”
Shaheen said she does not worry about how fast the vaccine was developed because she believes scientists had been working with different forms of the coronavirus for years and COVID-19 only sped up research that already was occurring.
“I believe science is a positive thing,” she said. “I would feel terrible if I had it and one of my patients contracted it from me. I don’t believe any side effects from the vaccine would be worse than contracting the virus.”
Home health aide Susannah Stefan, 48, of Warren, agreed that it is better to be safe and get the vaccine than to place others at risk.
Janet Baytosh, 56, a hygienist who works for her husband’s dental office in Girard, said her primary concern has been to make sure she is safe to be around her 86-year-old mother.
“We want to be around her,” Baytosh said. “We have enough personal protection equipment — masks and face shields — in our office to feel safe.”
John May, deputy health commissioner with the Warren Health District, estimated 400 people received shots Tuesday.
“It was a very good turnout,” he said.
Those who received shots Tuesday will be eligible to receive their second dose on Feb. 9, also at the music hall.
Warren’s Health District worked with the Trumbull County Combined Health District in distribution of the vaccine.
Trumbull County’s health district, working with Warren, also provided shots Jan. 6 at Kent State University at Trumbull.
Registration for the next tier group for shots is expected to take place in late January or early February. People over 65 as well as school employees will be in this group.
“We won’t know when we will begin getting those doses until the federal government delivers them to Ohio, and the state to the local government sites,” May said.