The Bloomingtonian

Press release: The Monroe County Health Department is launching vaccine clinic; vaccine now available to those over 80, certain healthcare workers and first responders

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                           CO

January 8, 20201                                                                                        

MONROE COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT LAUNCHES VACCINE CLINIC

BLOOMINGTON:  — The Monroe County Health Department (MCHD) is now scheduling appointments to administer free COVID-19 vaccine to eligible recipients.

The vaccine is now available to individuals age 80 and older, as well as to healthcare workers and first responders who have face-to-face interactions with patients or infectious material or work in a public-facing position that requires in-person contact. A photo ID, proof of age, or verification of current employment as a healthcare worker or first responder in Indiana will be required. 

Due to limited supply, vaccine is available by appointment only to those currently eligible as determined by the Indiana Department of Health (IDOH). The complete list is posted on the IDOH website at https://ourshot.in.gov, and appointments can also be scheduled at that website beginning Friday, Jan. 8.  Those who do not have internet or who have trouble with registration, can also call 211 and Area 10 on Aging for assistance.

IDOH asks for people to be patient when scheduling an appointment.  High amounts of website activity and phone calls may cause some to be placed on hold.  In the case of the webpage, this means they may be placed in a “virtual meeting room” while they wait their turn. 

“We are very excited to start vaccinating our local residents but we are not doing it alone”, says Penny Caudill, health department administrator.  “We are appreciative of the many partnerships and donations to help with the local response. With regard to vaccinations, the Monroe County Convention Center is providing space which is an amazing donation, MCCSC and the Monroe County Library are allowing us to borrow iPads, and the Indiana National Guard Reserve and Chick-fil-A have helped with logistics. We have added over 200 volunteers with more coming in every day.  These are just a few things that we are thankful today; there are more and we are grateful to everyone for any help.”

IDOH is utilizing service providers to help spread the word to those eligible for vaccination, such as 211 and home health agencies. MCHD is working with local groups and organizations to ensure harder to reach populations are notified when it is their turn.

The vaccinations are provided with no cost to the individual, but insurance may be charged an administration fee. Individuals should bring a photo ID and an insurance card if they have one. They should also consider planning ahead if they have challenges with mobility.

The MCHD vaccination site will be administering the Moderna vaccine. To be fully vaccinated, individuals will need 2 shots spaced 28 days apart. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it typically takes a few weeks for the body to build immunity after the second vaccination.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the vaccines under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA), meaning the vaccines must be proven safe and effective in the same way that all medications and devices must be. The vaccines have been found in trials to be 94 percent to 95 percent effective in preventing COVID-19 infections in participants. Side effects are temporary and are generally mild, including fatigue, headache and sometimes fever.

People who have been vaccinated may still be able to infect others, so even those who are vaccinated should continue wearing a mask and quarantining if they are a close contact of a positive case.

The best ways to protect yourself and others are to:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Stay home when you are sick
  • Cover your cough or sneeze
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces

For more information and to stay up to date, visit www.co.monroe.in.us/covid-19

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