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The Niagara County Department of Health has collaborated with Kenan Center in Lockport to conduct point-of-dispensing (POD) operations through the month of February.
The NCDOH has performed more than 4,800 first-dose vaccinations and 950 second-dose vaccinations so far with the support from Niagara County Emergency Management, Niagara County Sheriff’s Office and medical and non-medical volunteers from the Niagara County Medical Reserve Corps. It said the long-standing partnership with Kenan Center Arena has proven to aid in the mission of protecting the health and safety of Niagara County residents.
“We value our longstanding partnership with Kenan Center,” Public Health Director Daniel J. Stapleton said. “We have conducted five PODs at Kenan Center Arena so far and plan to conduct many more throughout the month of February.”
The NCDOH has partnered with Kenan Center over the years. It moved to indoor POD operations once the winter weather intensified, ensuring what it called a safe and socially distanced operation.
“We have transitioned from drive-thru to indoor PODs for the colder months, which has been very successful as we have completed over 2,600 vaccinations at Kenan Center Arena while also meeting functional needs of participants,” Director of Public Health Planning and Emergency Preparedness Elise Pignatora said.
“For over 50 years, the Kenan Center has served as an accessible and safe space eager to meet the ever-changing needs of our neighbors. This partnership with NCDOH exemplifies our commitment to the wellbeing and safety of our community,” said Parrish Herzog, public relations and marketing manager for Kenan Center.
Stapleton added, “We are deeply appreciative of the Kenan Center for providing their property to us free of charge, to aid in ensuring community members receive their vaccine in a safe and equitable manner.”
Pignatora noted, “The Kenan Center offers an accessible location for the community, including a wide-open indoor space with a front loop for drop-off and pickup for individuals with functional needs.”
The NCDOH identified Kenan Center as a POD site more than six years ago and has exercised mass dispensing plans there ever since. For example, in 2015 the NCDOH conducted a POD exercise to test emergency dispensing of medications to the community using a terrorist anthrax release scenario. With volunteers from the Niagara County Medical Reserve Corps and volunteers from Opportunities Unlimited, the NCDOH specifically sought to include individuals with access and functional needs to identify strengths and areas of improvement in POD planning.
This year, the NCDOH is partnering again with Kenan Center to operate an accessible and indoor COVID-19 POD model.
Niagara County POD operations are preregistration only and scheduled on a week-to-week basis. For more information about NCDOH COVID-19 POD operations, including eligibility and preregistration information, visit https://www.niagaracounty.com/health/Services/Public-Health-Preparedness/2019-Novel-Coronavirus-COVID-19/COVID-19-Vaccination.