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Culpeper Middle School a hub for COVID-19 vaccinations
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Culpeper Middle School a hub for COVID-19 vaccinations

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Culpeper Middle School has become one of Culpeper County’s mainstays for vaccination clinics to help curb the COVID-19 pandemic, along with Germanna Community College’s Daniel Technology Center.

On Wednesday, the middle school will host two vaccine clinics for people who pre-registered, building on the track record it began Jan. 19, when it hosted the area’s first large-scale vaccination effort. That event targeted school teachers, staff and school-retiree volunteers, plus some front-line staff from Culpeper agencies, including the KidCentral day-care program and the Department of Social Services.

Nurses at Wednesday’s first clinic, from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., will administer second doses of the Moderna vaccine to people vaccinated during the school district’s Jan. 27 clinic or the Jan. 21-22 clinics held at the Daniel Center by the Culpeper Department of Emergency Medical Services.

From 1 to 4 p.m. Wednesday, Culpeper Middle School will host a first-dose clinic for the Pfizer vaccine, said Michelle Metzgar, executive director of human resources at Culpeper County Public Schools. No appointments were available Monday for the clinic, Metzgar said.

Two shots are required with both the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines for them to take full effect.

The school district encourages community members to register through the Virginia Department of Health for future clinics in Culpeper and Madison counties, Metzgar said.

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Working with partners, the Culpeper school division plans to keep holding vaccination clinics at Culpeper Middle School on Wednesdays, when no students are present. Culpeper County schools, using a hybrid model of online and on-site classes, don’t host in-person courses on Wednesdays.

To vaccinate school staff and older residents, the division continues to work with Culpeper Medical Center, the Rappahannock-Rapidan Health District and the region’s volunteer Medical Reserve Corps.

On the morning of Feb. 10, a small clinic at Culpeper Middle School vaccinated 100 staff members, plus 190 school-division retirees and other community members, Metzgar said.

From 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 17, the Wednesday clinic vaccinated 1,083 staff members and residents who received their first dose of Moderna vaccine on Jan. 19 or Jan. 20 and returned for their school shot, she said.

People who are interested in being vaccinated during one of the Culpeper Middle School clinics must contact the Health Department directly and register in advance. None of its clinics are available to walk-in arrivals.

Learn more about the local situation via the regional health district’s website, rrhd.org.

To pre-register for a shot, visit vaccinate.virginia.gov. On Feb. 16, Virginia launched a statewide vaccine pre-registration system at that web address, the centralized site for all state residents to sign up for vaccines.

As part of that reorganization, Virginia also instituted new guidelines for its pre-registration process.

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Clint Schemmer, a journalist since 1980, has worked at papers in California, North Carolina and Virginia. He’s been a bureau chief, editorial-page editor, copy desk chief and local news editor. Now a staff writer at the Culpeper Star-Exponent.

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