WINFIELD, W.Va. -- Putnam County will be offering back-to-school immunization clinics this month, despite not having a permanent location to house the Putnam County Health Department.
Situated in a temporary location at the Putnam County Department of Health and Human Resources, nurses from the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department will be administering vaccinations from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 14 and 15 and 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 21 and 22.
A Saturday clinic will also be at the Tri-County YMCA in Scott Depot from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 17.
"This is all in an effort to make sure all the kids who are going back to school in Putnam County are able to get their shots in," said Dr. Rahul Gupta, executive director of the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department, at a press conference Tuesday.
"Going forward, we have the DHHR office here that has been gracious enough to provide us with cubicles, meeting rooms, as well as rooms to provide these vaccinations in. We're going to do this at this point ... But we're also at the same time working to get a permanent location secured. We'll be making an announcement for that in the upcoming few weeks."
"We fear that may not happen before the school start date in Putnam County. That's why we wanted to go ahead and catch up kids and get their back-to-school immunizations at this location, but we are working on securing a permanent location."
Students entering seventh grade are required to show proof of a Tdap booster and a dose of meningococcal vaccine.
Students entering 12th grade are required to show proof of a Tdap booster and at least one does of meningococcal vaccine given after age 16.
Recommended vaccinations include Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis (DtaP or Tdap), Haemophilus Influenza Type B, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Human Papillomavirus, Influenza, Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Meningococcal, Pneumococcal, Polio and Varicella.
Those interested are encouraged to bring all vaccine records, registration form and insurance information.
Kanawha-Charleston Health Department employees will be splitting time between Kanawha and Putnam counties until personnel are hired for the Putnam County Health Department. Positions are currently undergoing review at the state Division of Personnel, who will then provide a list of qualified candidates for interview.
In addition to the walk-in immunization clinics, Putnam County will also be offering some clinical services by appointment. The services include childhood, adolescent and adult immunizations, overseas travel immunizations, occupational immunizations, blood pressure screenings, HIV testing, tuberculosis screening and lice treatment.
Gupta said the services will be offered in a limited manner, and he encourages those interested to call the Putnam County Health Department at 304-757-2541 to make an appointment.
Environmental services have been provided since June 1, with one full-time sanitarian and one part-time sanitarian working around the clock to catch up on food services, sewage and septic, he said.
Keith Lyons, 62, of Scott Depot is the full-time sanitarian working in Putnam County. He worked at the Putnam County Health Department for 18 years before switching to Kanawha-Charleston Health Department in 2008.
Lyons was selected to work in Putnam County because of his previous experience. Because Putnam County's policies remain intact, and must be voted on by the Board of Health, some policies may differ from Kanawha.
"I just had to get in the habit of encoding Putnam and not Kanawha," Lyons said. "The first bar I walked into, naturally there were people smoking, and I was thinking 'gotta get them out of here.' But then I thought 'Oh, no, I'm in Putnam County.'"