FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Parkview Health began administering the COVID-19 vaccine to the first group of eligible healthcare workers on Monday, with mass vaccination set to begin Tuesday.
Reed Steffen, a patient care technician at Parkview Regional Medical Center was the first person to get the shot. The history was made at 12:09 p.m. Monday, after the first 975 doses arrived around 7:00 a.m.
“We’re just so proud and so fortunate to be offered the opportunity to serve our co-workers and our community,” Vice President of Nursing Informatics Michelle Charlies said after the first shot was given out.
The first round of vaccines are being allocated to healthcare personnel who have the potential for exposure to COVID-19 patients or infectious material. Those eligible will be notified by their employer, professional organization or licensing agency and register online for an appointment.
“There has been a lot of anxiety around the country,” Charles added. “We have seen a lot of death. I think having a vaccine and being able to defeat the virus, is very important. For me personally, I think it’s great, and of course, when it’s my turn I will take the shot. I think that it’s the right thing to do and the right thing to do for the community.”
Parkview anticipates to receive about 2,000 doses of the vaccine this week and 8,000 doses next week, based on allocations from the Indiana State Department of Health. Vaccines will be administered at the Mirro Center for Research and Innovation.
“Having a vaccine is a huge step in the fight against COVID-19,” said Chief Quality and Safety Officer Jeffrey Boord. “As one of the first health care organizations to receive shipment of the vaccine, Parkview has set up a clinic that will allow those first eligible recipients to be vaccinated as safely and efficiently as possible. We strongly encourage those meet the IDOH criteria to be vaccinated and help begin to protect our communities.”
Parkview will also vaccinate eligible healthcare workers from other organizations in Allen, Huntington and Whitley Counties.
The vaccination clinic at the Mirro Center is not open to the general public at this time.