COVID-19 vaccines will be given next week at Memorial Coliseum to people eligible to get them, county health officials said Friday.
The Moderna vaccine will be available to people age 80 and older and to licensed and unlicensed health care workers and first responders who have face-to-face interactions with patients or infectious material or who work in a public-facing position that requires in-person contact, the Allen County Department of Health said.
The Department of Health will open the vaccination clinic Wednesday in Expo IV at Memorial Coliseum, 4000 Parnell Ave. Because of limited supply, vaccine is available by appointment only to those currently eligible as determined by the Indiana Department of Health. Appointments must be made in advance at ourshot.in.gov or by calling 211 daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. No walk-ins will be accepted, county health officials said.
"Our Department is excited to join the effort to get shots into arms and get one step closer to the end of this global pandemic," Dr. Matthew Sutter, Allen County health commissioner, said in a statement. "We know the COVID-19 vaccine is tremendously effective at keeping people out of the hospital and preventing severe disease, so we encourage every eligible person to make an appointment as soon as possible."
Family members will be allowed to make appointments on behalf of eligible seniors. Those coming to the vaccination site should wear a mask and bring a photo ID, proof of age or verification of current employment as a health care worker or first responder in Indiana, as well as health insurance cards. There is no cost to vaccine recipients, but insurance might be charged an administration fee, county health officials said.
The Moderna vaccine requires two doses administered at least 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. Individuals will be able to schedule their second appointment at the county health department’s clinic after receiving the first dose, county health officials said.
The vaccines have been found in trials to be 94% to 95% effective in preventing COVID-19 infections in participants. Side effects are temporary and are generally mild, including fatigue, headache and sometimes fever, health officials said.
"The launch of this COVID-19 vaccine site is the culmination of countless hours of planning and preparation to provide a safe and efficient process for our community," department administrator Mindy Waldron said. "We know many are anxious for the opportunity to be vaccinated and appreciate the continued patience as we work through each phase announced by the state to protect the most vulnerable among us."
The announcement came on the same day Allen County confirmed 269 more residents tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total to 29,953. No new deaths were reported Friday. The county has reported a total of 510 deaths because of COVID-19.
Indiana health officials reported 6,199 new coronavirus infections and 69 additional COVID-19 deaths Friday.
The newly confirmed deaths, which occurred during the last several days, raised Indiana’s toll to 8,892, including both confirmed and presumed infections, the Indiana Department of Health said.
The number of Indiana residents known to have had the coronavirus is now up to 552,594.
The state agency also reported that 2,769 Hoosiers were hospitalized with COVID-19 on Thursday. Of those being treated, 584 were in intensive care, according to the state agency’s daily statistic update.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.