Area residents now have a few options for locations in Wayne, Fayette and Randolph counties where they can get their COVID-19 vaccine by appointment.
Reid Health’s COVID-19 vaccine clinics in Lynn and Connersville will remain open next week as the Richmond location moves to the Wayne County Fairgrounds.
Recipients can schedule an appointment outside of their home counties if desired.
Initially, plans called for the sites in Randolph and Fayette counties to close this week, but after further discussion with county health officials in those areas, arrangements were made to continue staffing those locations.
Indiana State Department of Health late last week expanded the rollout of COVID-19 vaccinations to Hoosiers age 80 and older.
Keeping the clinics in Lynn and Connersville open will help Reid and the local health departments continue collaborating to better serve those who are now eligible for vaccination.
“We recognize that many in the older age groups have transportation challenges, plus winter weather could affect travel at any time,” said Dr. Thomas Huth, Reid’s vice president of medical affairs. “Therefore, we feel it’s important to continue serving this population closer to home.”
Reid is operating three COVID-19 vaccination clinics with one each in Richmond, Lynn and Connersville. Appointments are needed for all three sites.
Both the Lynn and Connersville locations will remain open 7 a.m.-7 p.m. one day of the week, Tuesdays in Lynn (at Family & Occupational Medicine, 428 S. Main St.) and Wednesdays in Connersville (at Reid HealthWorks, 3542 Western Ave).
The Richmond site in Suite 140 of the Medical Office Building on the main Reid campus (1100 Reid Parkway) is open 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday through Thursday this week as well as 6 a.m.-7 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday.
That clinic will move to the Kuhlman Center on the Wayne County Fairgrounds (861 N. Salisbury Road) on Tuesday, Jan. 19. Once there, the site’s hours will be 7 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday.
Each site’s operating hours will be re-evaluated as the state’s vaccine rollout continues. It’s expected the next demographic groups to become eligible will be those age 70 and older followed by those who are 60-plus.
Vaccinations began in December with Phase 1A, which has included first responders and healthcare workers who have in-person contact with patients or infectious material.
Now, the first members of the general public — those age 80 or older — can be vaccinated for free as Phase 1B begins.
“This is an important milestone in our fight against COVID-19,” Huth said. “These are members of our community who are most at-risk for the virus. The vaccine provides another level of protection to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe.”
Patients must schedule a visit through the state website, ourshot.in.gov, using either the Firefox or Chrome web browser.
Those who need help to set up an appointment may call 211, and that staff can complete the necessary registration over the phone.
Wayne County Health Department also is operating a vaccination clinic at the former Elder-Beerman building in downtown Richmond. Patients should be sure to note which site they’re signing up for as they register and then go to that same location for their scheduled appointment.
Full vaccination requires two shots, with the second coming either 21 or 28 days after the first, depending on which manufacturer’s vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna) a patient initially receives. A second appointment will be scheduled while waiting out the required 15-minute observation time during the first visit.
Because Pfizer and Moderna vaccines don’t use a live virus, they can’t give anyone COVID-19, but it will take a few weeks for the body to build up immunity after vaccination, so it’s possible someone could become infected just before or after getting the shot and still get sick.
“There have been remarkably few serious adverse effects. Most people should not be apprehensive about taking it.” — Thomas Huth, M.D., Vice President of Medical Affairs
The vaccines have proven to be at least 94% effective at preventing symptomatic COVID-19 illness in adults, regardless of gender, race or ethnicity.
Some side effects such as headaches, fever and muscle pains have been reported during trials for the vaccines, mostly coming after the second of the two injections. It’s normal for vaccines to cause such symptoms, which are a sign that the body is building immunity to the virus.
“There have been remarkably few serious adverse effects,” Dr. Huth said. “Most people should not be apprehensive about taking it.”
A few people around the country have had serious allergic reactions, usually those with a history of severe allergies to certain medications, Huth notes. For that reason, people with severe allergies should consult their doctors about whether they can take the shot.
Those with questions about the COVID-19 vaccine can call Reid Health’s hotline at (765) 965-4200 from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays. They also can visit the Frequently Asked Questions section of the Reid website.