The Marion County Public Health Department started giving the COVID-19 vaccine to eligible recipients on Monday, Jan. 11.
The vaccine is currently for individuals age 80 and older, as well as to licensed and unlicensed 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.
“This is the next critical step in protecting residents who are most at-risk for becoming infected, as well as those who could experience serious health complications from COVID-19,” said Virginia A. Caine, M.D., director and chief medical officer of the Marion County Public Health Department. “The vaccine will help slow the spread of the virus and allow our communities to recover more quickly from this pandemic. We are eager to begin vaccinating residents, and look forward to more people receiving the protection it offers.”
Due to limited supply, the vaccine is available by appointment only to those currently eligible as determined by the Indiana Department of Health. That complete list is posted to ourshot.in.gov, and appointments can also be scheduled at the website.
The Marion County Public Health Department will offer the COVID-19 vaccine at 3685 Commercial Drive in Indianapolis:
Monday, Wednesday, Friday 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Tuesday, Thursday 10 a.m.-7 p.m.
Saturday 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
Two vaccines, developed by Pfizer and Moderna, are currently available in the U.S. Each requires two doses administered at least 21 days apart for the Pfizer vaccine and 28 days apart for the Moderna vaccine. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/vaccine-benefits/facts.html#:~:text=It%20typically%20takes%20a%20few,enough%20time%20to%20provide%20protection, it typically takes a few weeks for the body to build immunity after the second vaccination.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration at fda.gov/emergency-preparedness-and-response/coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19/covid-19-vaccines has approved the vaccines under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA), meaning the vaccines must be proven safe and effective in the same way that 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 may still be able to infect others, so even those who are vaccinated should continue wearing a mask and remain in quarantine if they are a close contact of a positive case.
The best ways to protect yourself and others are to:
* 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 you’re sick
* Cover your cough or sneeze
* Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
COVID-19 data for Marion County and other important information about the virus is available at MarionHealth.org at marionhealth.org/.