Vigo, Knox County hospitals prepare to begin COVID-19 vaccinations

Wabash Valley COVID-19 updates

KNOX CO., Ind. (WTWO/WAWV)– Just short of 1,000 doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine are scheduled to arrive at Union, Terre Haute Regional and Good Samaritan hospitals on Thursday.

The first round of vaccinations will be given to healthcare workers, long-term care employees and long-term care patients.

Vaccinations in Knox County will begin Thursday, with vaccinations set to begin on Friday in Vigo County.

Hospital leaders say getting healthcare workers vaccinated quickly is their main goal.

Adam Thacker, Chief Operating Officer at Good Samaritan Hospital, said the preparations to begin administering vaccinations has been more than a two month process.

“We’re not live yet. I’m sure some things are going to change on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, as we get the first couple of days of clinic under our belts and figure out how things are going,” he said. “But we have plans in place to make sure we can meet that need. Our clinic is set up for us to give out a little over 200 vaccinations per day.”

Healthcare workers will schedule vaccinations through Zo-Tech, a website used when they schedule COVID-19 tests.

Lindsay Stergar, Terre Haute Regional’s Interim Chief Operating Officer, explained the demand for the vaccine is high among healthcare workers.

She said vaccine demand could pose several challenges.

“There’s a lot of people that we know want the vaccination. So obviously security is somewhat heightened. We want to make sure our healthcare workers are safe as they come in to get vaccinated,” Stergar noted. “We also want to make sure that there are if any.. very few reactions to the vaccination, which we can’t control.”

Vigo and Knox County hospitals will also be responsible for vaccinating health care workers in the surrounding counties.

Those surrounding counties include Parke, Vermillion, Sullivan, Clay and Daviess counties.

Vigo County Health Officer, Dr. Darren Brucken said many may believe that the vaccine’s arrival signals an end to the pandemic.

But he said masking, social distancing and remaining vigilant must continue.

“Give up you holiday season because now is the wrong time to let down your guards and start celebrating saying ‘this is over.’ This isn’t over by any stretch for us,” Brucken said.  “We all have a shared apprehension. Of course we’re excited about the vaccine physically being here. But these are baby steps right now.”

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