Department of Health is seeing ‘plateau in numbers’

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – The Allen County Department of Health says overall vaccine distribution at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum is going well. The space the Coliseum has given them to administer the vaccine has been helpful.

The Department of Health opened the vaccination clinic in Expo IV at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum, 4000 Parnell Ave. on Wednesday, Jan. 13. Due to 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 2-1-1 daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. No walk-in’s will be accepted.

The biggest challenge thus far that the department of health has faced is the scheduling process, but once the appointment is scheduled the process is efficient and effective for those receiving the vaccine. Approximately 1,500 people have been vaccinated since last week and several hundred will be given the vaccine today and tomorrow. There are not vaccine shortages as of now. Appointments are scheduled based on the number of vaccines they have. The department of health believes the vaccine is impacting numbers.

Megan Hubartt, communication director with the Allen County Department of Health says, “Presently in the county we are seeing a plateau in the number of people who are infected. We haven’t been able to attribute that to the vaccine since we have only been doing it a few weeks so far but we think in combination of folks doing what we think they need to be doing as far as wearing their mask and watching their distance with folks and staying out of crowds, the combination of those two things is really going to put is in the right direction.”

“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,” said department administrator Mindy Waldron. “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.”

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 healthcare worker or first responder in Indiana, as well as their health insurance card to their appointment. There is no cost to the vaccine recipient, but insurance may be charged an administration fee.

The Department will be providing the Moderna vaccine, which 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 Department’s clinic after receiving the first dose. 

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 all medications and devices must be. The vaccines have been found in trials to be 94 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 against COVID-19 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 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

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