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Mohave County Supervisors grill Public Health over coming vaccine

With approval of two COVID-19 vaccines expected soon, Mohave County is preparing for the distribution. (Adobe image)

With approval of two COVID-19 vaccines expected soon, Mohave County is preparing for the distribution. (Adobe image)

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Mohave County Manager Sam Elters listens to discussion during a Mohave County Board of Supervisors meeting. (Photo by Agata Popeda/Kingman Miner)

KINGMAN – The COVID-19 vaccine is expected to arrive to Mohave County at the end of this year and the county wants to be ready, said County Manager Sam Elters at the board of supervisors’ meeting on Monday, Nov. 23.

County Assistant Health Director Melissa Palmer from the Mohave County Department of Public Health spoke on the county’s vaccination plan, still in the early stages, that will require a lot of community effort.

The county is looking at two vaccines – the Pfizer vaccine and the Moderna vaccine. Both require two injections separated by three or four weeks and may be available to the county as early as the end of December.

Palmer said the specific date is unknown. For now, the plan is to distribute the vaccine via so-called Public Points of Distribution, one in each Mohave County community.

Each POD would employ about 90 people at five stations, while residents would drive through them in three lines. Palmer explained this crew of 90 people would travel from community to community. Also, she said, they’d have to do it a second time for the second injection.

But it was not the logistics that worried supervisors the most. Supervisor Ron Gould of District 5 had a question regarding the effectiveness of the vaccine because he heard people provided with it were never actually exposed to COVID-19. He also asked if it is true that after being vaccinated, people can still be contagious.

Palmer said there is no quarantine period after getting vaccinated. When Gould questioned how an ultra-cold vaccine can be distributed and stored, she answered: “The correct answer is very carefully.” She said the vaccine will come in specialized containers with very specific protocols.

Chairwoman Jean Bishop asked on behalf of some of her constituents if it is true that vaccination will be mandatory.

“They will sway you rather than force you down,” explained Gould, adding citizens will be economically forced to get vaccinated by “corpocracy that runs the United States,” or risk being excluded.

The vaccination plan is still in the draft stages, Palmer said. MCDPH will meet with all Mohave County community leaders next week to discuss the approach.

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