The vaccine clinic in FCC's gymnasium.

Frederick’s Vaccine Clinic Continues to Grow, Thanks to Community Support

The Frederick Health Department opened a new vaccination clinic in February at the Frederick Community College’s athletic center. It is a clinic that works by appointment only and is providing shots for patients according to Maryland’s vaccine guidelines.

The process consists of four steps, verifying the patient’s identity, confirming medical history, vaccination, and waiting 15 minutes in the gymnasium filled with spaced chairs.

Something exciting about these vaccination clinics is that many patients have become volunteers helping the clinic’s growth and logistics, making the process very smooth for new patients.

“There is a statewide volunteer system called Maryland Responds, a system that collects information from people who want to volunteer and their qualifications. We have doctors, other nurses, and physician assistants volunteer as well,” Shawn Dennison, public affairs officer from Frederick County Health Department, said, “It is a real community effort.”

Schott Gordon, a first responder, said, “I feel great about being part of this. I thank every people that come to get the vaccine because it makes me feel better when I go out someplace knowing that other people in the community or the majority of the community are getting their vaccine.”

Receiving the vaccine gives a sense of security and freedom to many people. There are currently three brands of vaccines in use in the United States: Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson. The FCC clinic is providing the Moderna vaccine.

Wondering which is the best vaccine option? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s response is “The first one you are offered.”   

Currently, the demand for the vaccine is greater than the supply. “When we have enough vaccines, we are able to vaccinate up to 1,100 people in one day” Dennison, said.

Reviews from vaccine patients are very positive. There are no upset people, and there is no scary or stressful atmosphere. Everyone is happy to be there and to receive the vaccine.

“The process was great, very organized. I am very relieved that I got my first shot.” Nonad, 70, said Friday morning after receiving her first shot of the coronavirus vaccine at Frederick Community College.

“I would describe this process as painless and super quick. I am excited to get the second dose.” Bryan Broach, 40, said after receiving his first dose at the FCC.   

In case of any emergency or side effects, the clinic provides paramedics. After the shot, patients must do a short wait of 15 minutes to evaluate how they feel after getting the vaccine. During this time, patients can make the next appointment for the second dose.

“There can be symptoms after getting the vaccine, sore arm, low-grade fever, chills, nausea, headache.” Ashley, 28, a nurse at the FCC’s vaccination clinic, said.

“In general, the younger you are, the more you might experience some of the side effects”

Dennison, said. “If you do have side effects, they tend to go away within 24 hours.”

Frederick County continues to work very hard to vaccinate as many people as possible in the safest and most efficient way. Every time more and more people are volunteering for this cause gets the county closer and closer to the goal of a 100% vaccinated population. This is an example of community effort.

“Alone, we can do so little; together, we can do so much” – Helen Keller.

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