It's off and on the road.
Sussex County’s Mobile Library – also known as the Bookmobile – has been converted to a COVID-19 mobile vaccination clinic. In just a month, it’s made dozens of stops throughout the county and administered more than 400 Pfizer vaccines.
The idea for a mobile clinic happened during a phone call between Kim Blanch, Beebe Population Health community services manager, and Sussex County Emergency Medical Services Director Robert Murray. “We were talking about people with limited access to vaccines and how we get the show on the road,” Blanch said. “Robbie said he was looking out his window at the dormant Bookmobile, and we could get rolling with a memorandum of understanding with the county.”
On March 23, Sussex County Council approved a memorandum between Sussex County EMS, Beebe Healthcare and the Sussex County Department of Libraries to facilitate a first-of-its-kind venture using the sidelined bookmobile to distribute vaccinations.
Less than a month later, locations for the mobile clinic were being set up.
Under the plan, the mobile library, which has been parked since the pandemic began in early 2020, will serve as a medical unit, setting up shop in targeted areas of the county to distribute vaccines.
Library staff are responsible for transporting and organizing the bus, while county paramedics will be on hand to assist Beebe staff in administering shots and monitoring patients for any adverse reactions. Shots are provided to recipients at no out-of-pocket cost.
Blanch said when residents get their first vaccines, an appointment is made for the second dose in three weeks on the same day of the week at the same location. She said people can also receive a first dose at the second-dose clinics but will have to get their second dose at one of Beebe's walk-in clinics.
Upcoming clinics include Slaughter Neck Community Center, 1 p.m., Tuesday, May 18; Rehoboth Community Resource Center, 2 p.m., Thursday, May 20; and Cupola Park, Millsboro, 2:30 p.m., Tuesday, May 25. Other locations and dates will be scheduled.