BY ASHLEY BRUGNONE, CMP STAFF WRITER
In a step toward healing, the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) Headquarters at Camp Perry recently stood as the setting for the fight against Covid-19, with local medical affiliates choosing its air gun facility as a vaccination site for the surrounding community.
The Ottawa County Health Department and Magruder Hospital, both in Port Clinton, where Camp Perry is located, joined forces to create a distribution plan for the thousands of individuals interested in receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.
In Ottawa County alone, over 31,260 doses have been administered in accordance to the Ohio Department of Health Vaccine dashboard – with the small county wavering between number one or two in the state in percentage of population vaccinated.
As of May, 49.5 percent of the Ottawa County population has received the first dose and 44.2 percent is fully vaccinated. Individuals between the ages of 16 and 100 have come to the clinics in Ottawa County, traveling from as far as two to three hours away.
“We are so thankful to have such a great community come together and support our efforts,” said Katie Crowell, Director of Nursing at the Ottawa County Health Department.
The Gary Anderson CMP Competition Center, located on the grounds of Camp Perry, oversaw eight vaccination clinics in March, April and May, where approximately 3,000 first-round doses and 2,000 second-round doses were administered. The open arrangement of the building, coupled with the outstanding cooperation of participants and volunteers, made for a well-organized experience overall.
Word of Camp Perry’s efficiency spread quickly across the state, with individuals from as far as Toledo’s Lucas County, 30 miles to the west, making the drive just to attend one of the clinics at the Gary Anderson CMP Competition Center.
“We can’t say enough about the CMP facility and the hospitality of the CMP in helping us coordinate these clinics and assisting us,” said Jerry Bingham, Ottawa County health commissioner. “Ottawa County is very lucky to have a facility of this kind in our area, and it is a hidden gem.”
He went on, “We have appreciated the support and the great layout that this facility provided for our endeavor to vaccinate as many people in Ottawa County that we can in order to stop the spread of COVID.”
Local medical entities such as the Ottawa County Health Department, Ottawa County Emergency Management Agency, Magruder Hospital, and several other Ottawa County employees, to name a few, were recruited through the “Resource Solutions Associates” planning firm out of Norwalk, Ohio. Over 20 nurses and 15 other health professionals, along with over 40 volunteers, were used.
“And they have all been amazing throughout these clinics,” Bingham added.
The entire process of receiving a shot at the Gary Anderson CMP Competition Center, from door to dose, typically lasted no longer than five to 10 minutes overall. A 15-minute monitoring period for adverse effects was also included, where some guests filled their wait by firing a few shots in the air gun range of the facility.
Of the 5,000 doses given at Camp Perry, zero negative reactions from the vaccine were reported during the 15-minute wait time.
With the CMP opening its doors of its air gun facility at Camp Perry for the clinic, the CMP was able to give back to the surrounding community by taking part in its recovery efforts. In turn, the organization was also able to show itself to the public, many of whom never even knew the 80-point electronic air gun range existed right in their own backyard. Some have even promised to return, with many thanks to the hard-working medical personnel around the country and those doing their part in eradicating the Covid-19 virus.
If you’d like to receive a COVID-19 vaccination, visit https://www.vaccines.gov/get-vaccinated/where to find the nearest available location anywhere in the United States.
If you live in Ottawa County, and would like to find current vaccination sites, visit the Ottawa County Health Department website at http://ottawahealth.org.
Learn more about the Civilian Marksmanship Program and the Gary Anderson CMP Competition Center, including information on weekly Open Public Nights, at https://thecmp.org/ranges/cmp-competition-centers/marksmanship-nights/ or call 419-635-2141, Ext. 704 to schedule your appointment on the range.