MARKLE, Ind. (WFFT) — The Crestview Middle School gymnasium is used to seeing shots on the court.
On Saturday, 500 COVID-19 vaccine shots went into arms instead.
Huntington County Health Officer Dr. Matt Pflieger says this is the most people they’ve vaccinated in one day, and he’s had no problem finding eligible recipients.
"We launched the schedule, and in less than 12 hours, that schedule was completely filled,” Pflieger said.
Multiple people said they were drawn to Crestview’s gymnasium not just to get vaccinated, but for the opportunity to get the Johnson & Johnson vaccine specifically.
“My education that I was able to follow and make a decision was Johnson & Johnson was the right one," Ken Nelson said. "And this came up, and I couldn’t move fast enough.”
Lori Ingle had the option of getting a different vaccine as well, but the Johnson & Johnson single shot will get her fully vaccinated before her husband’s upcoming surgery.
"He’ll have no immune system after his surgery, and so we wanted to make sure that I had less risk of getting covid because of that," Ingle said. "So knowing that I’m done, that feels really good. I don’t have to wait for several weeks to get that second shot and wait until then to know that I’m immune.”
And the sooner they’re immune, the sooner they can get back to their favorites activities.
"Tincaps baseball ... buffets being open," Nelson said. "Spending time with family, traveling," mentioned Ingle.
While the Johnson & Johnson vaccine’s trials showed less effectiveness in preventing milder cases than its two-shot counterparts, all three vaccine options prevent severe infections.
Pflieger says his focus is on getting as many people vaccinated as possible, with whichever dose is available.
“So in my mind, a vaccine is a vaccine. It’s going to help prevent disease. It’s going to lower hospitalizations and deaths. The side effects for both, all three of those vaccines is very low and the benefit is very high. So just get a shot,” Pflieger said.
Flieger says the 500 Johnson & Johnson doses today came from the state, but they’ll be back to using the Moderna vaccine next week.
He notes that Huntington County has fully vaccinated over 15% of its population and is ahead of the state average.