Indiana COVID vaccine distribution ramps up in Gary as elderly begin to receive doses

GARY, Ind. (WLS) -- The state of Indiana ramped up its efforts to provide vaccination for more people while a case of the UK COVID-19 variant was confirmed.

Health officials got ready in Gary to administer the first 200 doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to people of age 80 and above.

"I thought it was wonderful. I wanted to hurry up and get it. I feel more secure," said Clattie Headen, vaccine recipient.

Public health officials were told late last week the vaccines were coming Friday and to prepare. Gary's Commissioner of Health Dr. Roland Walker put out a press release that night and put out a website for registration to get the vaccine.

"The federal government did not prepare us for this at all, and everything was kind of pushed to the state level, and then the states kind of handed it off to us and said, 'Here's your resources now. Have at it and figure out what best way works for you,'" Dr. Walker said.

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"This is my first time here, and they are very efficient and very fast, and I was very happy with what service we got," said Marsha Boone, vaccine recipient.

Each vial contains 10 doses and half the vaccine allotment was gone by Monday afternoon. However, officials want more people to register since more traffic would allow for larger future shipments from Indiana health.

"All I had to do was open the email and click on the link and schedule the appointment. It was that easy, and it was like it came the day before my birthday, so I was like, 'Oh, this is my birthday present,'" said Dr. Kimberly Brown, South Loop Pediatrics in Chicago.

The hope is the efficiency will continue as one in 1000 Americans have died from COVID-19 already.

"Your odds of taking the vaccination and surviving is much better than some side effect that you may have from the vaccination," Dr. Walker said.

To register, visit the Indiana government website.
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