Once it’s up and running, the clinic will have the capacity to vaccinate 6,000 people every day for eight weeks.
According to the Ohio Department of Health (ODH), the vaccine supply coming from the federal government is in addition to the doses already being shipped to the state’s other providers.
The Cleveland Clinic says it will assist the Wolstein Center with storing and managing the vaccine inventory for the site.
Friday, the Cleveland Clinic received a delivery of nearly 45,000 doses of Pfizer vaccine to their freezer facility for the site.
“Our facility includes over a dozen secure ultracold freezers, which are needed to store the vaccine product. Our pharmacists, along with pharmacists from other local hospitals, will also be on-site to assist in drawing up the vaccines and ensure the quality of the product,” the clinic said in a press release.
The doses will be carefully stored at temperatures down to minus-70 degrees, until they are delivered to the Wolstein Center at Cleveland State for a mass vaccination clinic, starting Wednesday.
“They take about 30 minutes to thaw, but once thawed, they’re only good for five days, so we need to make sure that we’re only pulling those out for those scheduled for the day. When they’re drawn into the syringes, it even gets more crucial, where it goes down to six hours,” explained Samuel Calabrese, chief pharmacy officer at the Cleveland Clinic.
The Wolstein Center clinic is run by FEMA, with help from state and local hospitals and agencies. The goal is to make it easy for people of all incomes and backgrounds to get a shot.
“It’s a great location and it will touch many of our high-risk citizens that may be medically under-served,” said Calabrese.
ODH reminds Ohioans that receiving the COVID-19 vaccine is free, even if you don’t have insurance. However, to receive the vaccine you must provide identification to verify your name, identity, and age.
Vaccine recipients must also make an appointment to get the COVID-19 vaccine at the Wolstein Center.
Beginning March 17, appointments are available seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Appointments can be made online or by calling 1-833-4-ASK-ODH (1-833-427-5634). When booking online, enter ZIP code 44115 in the search field to find the Wolstein Center location.
ODH says transportation assistance to the vaccination sites is available to those who need it. You should call 211 for transportation assistance. Options include a free Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (RTA) bus pass, ride-share services, and rides through Senior Transportation Connect and local churches. Parking at the vaccination site will also be free.
“One of our jobs is to give our citizens as much access to what they need as possible…right now, one of the things people need the most is the vaccine,” said Ben Capelle, CEO of Laketran.
The Laketran public transit agency that serves Lake County will offer free rides to the Wolstein Center. A bus will leave every 30-minutes from a brand new facility which opens Monday on the campus of Lakeland Community College.
“The service is open to anybody, you know, whether you make five dollars an hour or you know, a half a million dollars a year. This service is here for everyone equally and the main objective is to sort of break down those barriers to getting the vaccine,” Capelle said.
ODOT provided a total of $7 million dollars to all 88 Ohio counties, allowing transit companies, like Laketran and RTA, to offer free rides so lack of transportation is not a barrier to vaccination.
“We were hearing from folks who were saying ‘I’m eligible for the vaccine, I want to get the vaccine, but I don’t have any way to get to a vaccination clinic,” said Matt Bruning, press secretary for the Ohio Department of Transportation.
Laketran’s CEO says a bus ride to the transit center is free if riders call ahead. Greater Cleveland RTA officials say they will make their plans public on Monday. In counties without a public transit system, local health departments will help provide transportation to vaccination sites.
Health officials reiterate that all the available coroanvirus vaccines have been proven safe and effective at preventing serious illness, hospitalization, and death from COVID-19.
Because Cleveland Clinic is giving the Pfizer vaccine, people will have to return for a second dose, scheduled three weeks apart.
Officials say that side effects from the vaccine are mild and normal signs that your body is building protection against the virus.
For more information on coronavirus shots and vaccination sites, you should visit the Ohio Department of Health website.