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Local union halls opening up to provide space for vaccinations

They have something valuable that the county health department and local hospitals need: space. UAW Local 12 is opening its doors for 300 vaccinations on Tuesday.

TOLEDO, Ohio — Community organizations with space are stepping up to make room so more people in Lucas County can be vaccinated.

Press conferences, job fairs and union organizing have all brought WTOL 11 to UAW Local 12's hall, but now they're preparing to administer 300 vaccines to eligible people in Lucas County on Tuesday.

"We spent years forming relationships with different parts of the community to be able to utilize their facilities, I mean this isn't something that kinda just pops up," Toledo-Lucas County Health Commissioner Eric Zgodzinski said.

They have something valuable that the county health department and local hospitals need: space.

This won't be just a one time thing.

"It'll be a good feeling, you know because of COVID we cancelled all our union meetings, our retirees meetings. Our neighbors are our friends, so it would be great to open up our doors," UAW Local 14 President Tony Totty said. They are working with Local 12.

It's needed now more than ever as more groups of people are eligible for vaccinations and others are getting their second dose.

If you look at the CDC website, it shows there are quite a few vaccines in the state just waiting to be used.

"We have that second dose sitting there, waiting for us to get in to those clinics that we've run, and so I think by the end of, middle of next week we'll have all those doses out," Zgodzinski said.

The Ohio Department of Health says the state has so much vaccine waiting to be administered because it prioritized long-term care facilities and anticipates many of the doses sitting in freezers to be used in the next week.

The local unions are happy to help.

"When you look at it, United Auto Workers as a whole have a lot of union halls, and we're going to open up our doors the moment that they have enough vaccines at both locations," Totty said.