Rave Reviews for Cleveland's Wolstein Center Vaccine Clinic
Thousands have received COVID-19 vaccines at the mass vaccination clinic inside the Wolstein Center since its opening a week ago, and thus far, people are sharing positive reviews of the process.
Lauren Tatum, a small business owner from Cleveland, received her shot there Sunday and did not have a single complaint.
“I think for the type of crisis this is, and for how many people need to get vaccinated in such a short amount of time, I really don’t think they could do anything better, at least not from what I saw,” Tatum said.
She arrived about 10 minutes early for her 10 a.m. appointment and walked right in, she said. She was in and out in about 30 minutes.
The friendliness and enthusiasm of everyone working the site helped the experience go smoothly, Tatum said.
“Everybody knew why they were there, and they could feel that they were playing a part in helping us get back to normal. It was really emotional,” Tatum said.
Richard Hanes, a Bay Village resident and UPS employee, echoed some of Tatum’s positive sentiments. Unlike Tatum, however, he had to wait in a long line outside before his appointment, he said.
It would have been helpful to have volunteers talk to people in the line to let them know they were in the right place, Hanes said.
“I think they should have a volunteer or two outside making sure people understand—‘Hey, this is normal, don’t worry about it, it’s going to move fast here in a second,’ because I didn’t know if I was in the right line at first,” Hanes said.
The line moved much quicker once Hanes got through the registration checkpoint at the entrance and down to the floor where vaccines were being administered, he said.
Hanes was also impressed by the number of language interpreters available at the site to help non-English speakers. There are interpreters for six different languages at the clinic, including Spanish, Arabic and American Sign Language.
Tatum also applauded the interpreters, and said the National Guard members, Army soldiers and volunteers at the site went out of their way to answer people’s questions.
“The accessibility of the information and the willingness to ease people’s concerns and make sure they were properly educated about what was about to go into their bodies was really comforting,” Tatum said.
Both Tatum and Hanes easily found free parking spots in the Cleveland State lots surrounding the Wolstein Center, they said.
While getting the vaccine was a mostly smooth experience, both Tatum and Hanes encountered hiccups registering for their appointments. They had to refresh the state’s online registration page a few times, or check at a different time of day to see if appointments had opened up, they said.
To find an appointment, individuals are encouraged to visit the state's online portal or call 833-427-5634. People can also call the United Way’s 2-1-1 line, or visit some community sites, such as some local libraries, to register for special reserved slots with the help of FEMA representatives.
The Wolstein clinic is offering first doses of Pfizer this week and next week, with second doses being administered weeks 4 and 6. The Johnson and Johnson one-dose vaccine will be available in weeks 7 and 8 at the end of April.
Individuals over the age of 40 and with some medical conditions are now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine in Ohio, while everyone aged 16 and up will qualify starting March 29.
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