FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) -- A vaccination clinic in Expo IV at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum COVID-19 will open to the public on Wednesday.
The vaccine is available to individuals age 80 and older, as well as all 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.
The Allen County Health Department says the vaccine comes at no cost to the patient.
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 healthcare worker or first responder in Indiana, as well as their health insurance card to their appointment.
Allen County Health Commissioner Dr. Matthew Sutter says we’re noticing an uptick in cases and positivity rates after New Years'. A new Public Health Order moving Allen County back to Red restrictions will take effect Jan. 13 at 12 a.m.
“We’ve seen more than 8,000 Hoosiers die of this and more than 500 people in Allen County. We continue to lose people every day. On average, 70 Hoosiers a day are dying of COVID-19,” Dr. Sutter said.
Sutter says vaccines are a ray of hope amidst this crisis.
“There’s been an unprecedented move towards vaccines. We’ve seen vaccines develop faster than ever before and we’ve seen them turn out to be incredibly effective,” he said.
The vaccines have been found in trials to be 94 to 95 percent effective in preventing COVID-19 infections in participants.
The Department will be providing the Moderna vaccine, which requires two doses administered at least 28 days apart.
“We are fully booked almost for this week and well into next week. So clearly there’s a lot of need and we’re very happy to see that,” Department Administrator Mindy Waldron said.
Due to limited supply, vaccines are appointment-only.
“Across the state, so it's no different here, everything will be done by appointment. Whether they schedule online or via the 2-1-1 call-in system to make their appointment and register. We highly encourage folks to fully register. It takes many minutes longer per person when we have to register you here,” Waldron said.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says 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 Department’s clinic after receiving the first dose.
Common side effects are temporary and are generally mild, including fatigue, headache, and sometimes fever.
Sutter wants to encourage people not to be afraid of serious side effects like anaphylaxis as they’re rare.
“Out of the first two million doses there have been 11 cases of this, so that’s about one in 190,000. However, it does happen and we’re taking every precaution,” Sutter said.
To start, the Health Department will be vaccinating about 800 people a week.
In the coming months, they have the capacity to vaccinate 1,200-1,400 a day.
The Health Department wants to remind you that the best ways to protect yourself and others from COVID-19 are to:
* Keep at least six feet from people outside your household
* Wear a mask in public
* 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 sick
* Cover your cough or sneeze
* Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
If you meet these criteria and want to sign up here’s how you do it:
Log in to the website at ourshot.in.gov or by calling 2-1-1 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m