Wheeling Hospital has launched a new self-scheduling website for people to make COVID-19 vaccine appointments, which will continue to be administered at the Community Vaccine Clinic at the Highlands.

With Gov. Jim Justice making vaccine distribution more widely available, vaccinating a greater number of the local population remains a priority.

The clinic collaboration includes Wheeling Hospital, the Wheeling-Ohio County Health Department, the county Emergency Management Agency and Wheeling Health Right.

Under the governor’s expanded criteria, in addition to an increase in vaccine supply, Wheeling Hospital plans to expand its distribution initiative. Douglass Harrison, CEO of Wheeling Hospital, is excited to offer another avenue for people to access the vaccine.

“We are pleased to hear that the governor of West Virginia has lifted most restrictions on who can receive the COVID vaccine. Our priority will still be on the elderly and people with comorbidities; but welcoming those people age 16 years old and older to receive the vaccine will certainly be a good thing,” Harrison said.

West Virginia has been recognized as a national leader in its distribution of the life-saving vaccine. Through this new scheduling program, Harrison hopes to continue and even expand on that success.

“Our top priority is get the vaccine to all people who want and need it,” he said. “The only way to get through this pandemic is to vaccinate our way through it. I am proud of how the Ohio Valley has responded to receiving the vaccine, but we still have many people who need to get it. Please do your part to protect your family, friends and our community: get the vaccine.”

Wheeling-Ohio County Health Department Administrator Howard Gamble sees this self-scheduling process as a positive move forward. “Allowing our residents to schedule their individual appointment, allows our group at the Community Clinic to plan and meet the needs of the residents in Ohio County,” he said. “The increase in vaccine volume is great news for the community and our overall effort.”

To sign up for the new service, visit the Wheeling Hospital website at http://www.wheelinghospital.org/covidvaccine. In order to make an appointment, users will need to provide their name, date of birth, address, email address, and phone number.

Although appointment calls will still be made to those who have signed up through the http://www.vaccinate.wv.gov website, people are encouraged to self-schedule through the new Wheeling Hospital portal if they have not yet been contacted.

The Community Clinic will remain open for this service until it is no longer needed. Hours of operation will fluctuate in accordance with the volume of vaccine received. Appointments are required prior to receiving the vaccine and registrants must wait to be contacted by a clinic representative