The Blackford County Health Department is now scheduling appointments to administer the COVID-19 vaccine to eligible recipients.
The vaccine is now available to 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. A photo ID, proof of age, or verification of current employment as a healthcare worker or first responder in Indiana will be required.
Due to limited supply, vaccine is available by appointment only to those currently eligible as determined by the Indiana Department of Health. That complete list is posted to https://ourshot.in.gov, and appointments can also be scheduled at that website beginning Friday, Jan. 8. There is no cost to the individual, but insurance may be charged an administration fee. Individuals should bring a photo ID and an insurance card if they have one. If you have difficulty registering online or if you know someone eligible to get vaccinated who doesn’t have access to a computer, please dial 211 from any phone to register.
Two vaccines, developed by Pfizer and Moderna, are currently available. Our local site will only have the Moderna vaccine, which will require a second dose after 28 days to be completed. If you have previously had the Pfizer vaccine you will need to repeat the Pfizer vaccine preferably at the same location you received the first dose. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it typically takes a few weeks for the body to build immunity after the second vaccination.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration 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 percent 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 quarantining if they are a close contact of a positive case.