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Local church holds mass vaccination clinic for hundreds of residents

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WATERLOO, Iowa (KWWL) - The Jubilee United Methodist Church held a mass vaccination clinic in the church's Freedom Center Tuesday. About 200 people received their first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.

Many have been struggling to book an appointment, as many pharmacies and clinics fill their slots almost as soon as they open up. When Tuesday's clinic was announced, the appointments filled up within hours.

Partnering with the Waterloo Logan Avenue Hy-Vee, the clinic brought relief to many people who were excited to be one step closer to becoming fully vaccinated.

"Hug my parents. That's the first thing I'm going to do is hug my parents. Because I don't want to get them sick," Waterloo resident Meredith Petersen said, "And I'm still going to wear a mask, because I wear it at work all the time, and I want to be responsible. I don't want to get anybody sick, or get me sick."

Jubilee United Methodist Church and Hy-Vee partnered in an effort to bring the vaccine outside of pharmacy settings.

"The more the merrier. We just want to play a role in making sure that everybody who wants to get the vaccine, that they get it," Pastor and Building Administrator Abraham Funchess Jr. said.

This was the first community vaccination clinic Hy-Vee has put together in the eastern Iowa area.

"I think everybody's ready to get their shot and hopefully get back to normal," Logan Ave. Hy-Vee store manager Cameron Olson said.

Many people at the vaccine clinic expressed that they were excited to have this opportunity to receive the vaccine, as many continue to struggle to book an appointment.

"I was trying to get appointments through Peoples Clinic, Allen, and it was just impossible, so when I found this I just clicked the first appointment slot," Petersen said.

Folks 65 and older, teachers, and people under the age of 65 with underlying health conditions are eligible, and were able to get the shot. Many were thrilled to move forward in COVID recovery.

Walk-ins were welcomed if there were any cancellations throughout the day.

“I had my valves fixed and I had a hole in my heart. Hopefully I can be around my folks. Luckily I haven’t gotten it so. Just kind of being at ease and flatten the curve and hopefully things get better," Petersen said.

MercyOne has also distributed COVID-19 vaccines at Jubilee United Methodist Church.  Patients who have already received shots with MercyOne will continue to get their second dose as scheduled. 

The Jubilee United Methodist Church plans to have more vaccine clinics in the future. The church will post any updates on when those events will happen on their Facebook page.

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