In addition to the bike parades, live music, and other events going on throughout the weekend, there’s a new addition to this year’s Thunder in the Valley motorcycle rally.
It aims to protect people against COVID-19.
Highlands Health set up a vaccination clinic in the parking lot of Donna Christopher’s State Farm insurance agency in Downtown Johnstown.
“What better chance than to let the public know that we’re here, part of Thunder in the Valley, having lots of fun, and giving a life-saving drug: a COVID vaccine,” said Highlands Health Executive Director Rosalie Danchanko.
She said the clinic hasn’t been a huge hit among the bikers downtown for Thunder, but they’ve still had just under ten people from the community get their shot.
“It’s an opportunity to save lives. We bring awareness to the COVID vaccine. If we get one person, that’s plenty,” Danchanko said.
She said it’s also a way to establish their presence in the community.
Highlands health has given out almost 10,000 vaccines at their 15 vaccination clinics held throughout the year.
Danchanko says they’ve now transitioned to these small parking lot clinics where they can vaccinate just under a dozen people.
“The time for the thousand-person COVID vaccine clinics are over. Now what we’re getting and what we need to do is reach out to the small groups,” Danchanko said.
“So, if we could get five to ten people, and go to them, that’s what our plans are. We’re calling schools, businesses, and community events. We’ll be on the road with our COVID vaccines,” she continued.
102-year-old Mary Miller was one recipient of the COVID-19 vaccine at the clinic held downtown Friday.
Highlands Health officials presented her with an award for being oldest person to get a shot this week.
“Well I figure either get it or get the disease. It’s going to help, I guess. It’s a precaution,”
State Farm also set up booth right beside the clinic to fundraise for Highlands Health.
State Farm Insurance Agent Donna Christopher said for any quote given, State Farm will donate $5 to the clinic.
“As a community leader in our community, I wanted to bring attention to the Johnstown free medical clinic. Being a part of Thunder is exciting, bringing people downtown, and we’re really hoping more and more people get vaccinated,” she said.
Highlands Health officials say they’ll be hosting smaller clinics like these throughout the summer at church, school, and business events.
Danchanko said they’re also traveling to people’s homes to vaccinate them completing 585 home visits so far.