St. Joseph County preparing for new mass vaccination site

ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind. - With Indiana expanding its vaccine eligibility to all adults by the end of the month, the State Health Department asked all county health departments to host their own mass vaccination sites. St. Joseph County said it would open another one in addition to the one already open at the Hedwig Center. Officials said it would come down to finding a good location.

"Here at Hedwig Memorial Center, we really are holding a mass vaccination site every single day," St. Joseph County Health Officer Dr. Bob Einterz said. "We vaccinate 1100 people here on a daily basis, and what the State is asking us to do is to vaccinate up to 3300 people on either a Saturday or a Saturday and a Sunday."

Einterz said supply and manpower were not his concern as much as finding somewhere for the new site.

"We will explore with our partners both in the city and the county to see if we can put on a mass vaccination site sometime in April," Einterz said. "This would be using Moderna, and then, that would be the first dose of Moderna. Then, a month later, sometime in May, 28 or so days after that, we would look at holding the second site. This would likely be held by one of our partners here in the county, not the health department."

Hedwig Vaccination Site Site Manager Allison Zandarski said the state had already taken care of getting people to the site to be vaccinated. She hoped those people would continue to be patient, though.

The state set up a really great system for us with the in.myshot.gov to help people get registered and signed up. It's really exciting to hear," Zandarski said. "We're just really hoping that we can continue to, people can have patience with us to be able to get their vaccination appointment. It's going to be a while before we can get everybody vaccinated, but we're working our hardest here."

Dr. Einterz said patience and persistence would be key in getting everyone vaccinated.

"My best advice would be to continue to go to the ourshot.gov and register on that site," Dr. Einterz said. "If for any reason they have difficulty doing so, keep trying the next day or the day after."

Dr. Einterz said both the State and Federal Governments keep track of the supply of available vaccine doses. He said both told him with multiple companies helping in the production process, the supply was increasing and at a good point to supply Indiana's eligibility expansion.

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