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A call for bare arms

Free COVID vaccine clinic will be held in Rocky Top Saturday

There are no excuses now.

Starting at 9 a.m. and lasting until 2 p.m. Saturday, May 8, at Main Street Baptist Church on 4th Street, Munsey’s Pharmacy, in partnership with Pastor Wayne Phillips, and the Anderson County Commissioners, along with the Rotary Club of Oak Ridge will host a vaccine clinic for COVID-19 shots in Rocky Top.

The clinic is open to everyone still needing a COVID-19 vaccination, and the vaccinations are available at no cost.

No pre-registration is required, as all registrations will be done at the clinic.

This is the second clinic in Rocky Top hosted by Munsey’s Pharmacy and Rotary Club of Oak Ridge. The initiative was started at the request of Pastor Wayne Phillips and several Anderson County Commissioners, including Tim Isbel, Catherine Denenberg, and Shane Vowell, to reach more rural residents of Anderson County. No public clinics had previously been held in Rocky Top prior to the one organized by the same group on April 10.

The hope of the COVID-19 Vaccine Initiative is to stop the COVID-19 Pandemic in the US by vaccinating at least 70 % of the population thus providing “Herd Immunity”. To-date, there are many people who have not yet decided to get a COVID-19 Vaccine because of fear of side effects. While the CDC reports that local arm reactions such as swelling, redness and mild pain are common in those receiving the vaccine, serious reactions are not. Reactions necessitating physician intervention or hospitalization was just 7.4% in those 18-64 years of age and 5.9% in those 65 and over.

What’s more, the CDC has noted many benefits of vaccination. The most obvious benefits may be that all vaccines currently available in the United States have been shown to be safe and effective at preventing COVID-19, but there are many others, such as protecting loved ones, especially those who are at risk for severe illness, which are particularly of interest to those professing Christian values of love and caring for one another. Additionally, many look forward to doing more with indoor gatherings and less with masks, once vaccinated.

Since the start of the pandemic, RCOR has worked internally and with partners such as Oak Ridge City Manager and club member, Mark Watson, Anderson County Commissioners, and Mayor Warren Gooch to provide PPE to caregivers, promote preventative measures such as mask-wearing and vaccination, and to assist free vaccine clinics with supplies, volunteers, infrastructure, and general promotion.

Over ten percent of all Anderson County vaccines given since April 22nd have been given at Munsey’s Pharmacy, a small family-owned Oak Ridge pharmacy, for a total of 4,900 doses. Many of these were given at two previous drive-in COVID-19 Vaccine Clinics on February 27 and March 27 in Oak Ridge. At these clinics, Rotarians from the Rotary Club of Oak Ridge and Knights from the St. Mary’s Knights of Columbus managed traffic, parking, and registration of vaccine recipients.

About Munsey’s Pharmacy: Munsey’s Pharmacy is a locally owned pharmacy located in Oak Ridge. In addition to supporting free drive-in clinics, they are also taking vaccines by appointment at their location on 106 Administration Rd. More information can be found at

About The Rotary Club of Oak Ridge: RCOR is a local chapter of Rotary International, an organization with a global network of 1.2 million neighbors, friends, leaders, and problem-solvers who see a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change across the globe, in our communities, and in ourselves. For more information, visit or contact J.R. Hertwig, Public Image Chair, at