INDIANAPOLIS — The first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine were administered to frontline healthcare workers in Indiana on Monday, according to the Indiana State Department of Health.
The state's first allotment of the Pfizer vaccine arrived Monday morning.
The first doses in Indiana were administered to a physician, nurse, respiratory therapist, pharmacist, patient care tech, and an environmental services tech at Parkview Health in Fort Wayne shortly after noon. Parkview was one of five pilot hospitals to receive the vaccine in the first shipment.
Additional vaccines are expected to arrive at other hospitals across the state including IU Methodist in Indianapolis in the next few days, according to the health department. More than 50 hospitals and clinics across the state are expected to receive a total of 55,575 doses with additional shipments expected weekly after that.
The vaccine requires two doses administered a minimum of 21 to 28 days apart.
“The arrival of vaccine is an incredible milestone in our efforts to end this pandemic,” Gov. Eric J. Holcomb said. “The combination of a vaccine and simple mitigation measures like wearing a mask and keeping your distance will get us through to the other side.”
Since the vaccine is being shipped to each state in phases, Indiana has prioritized the first doses for frontline healthcare workers who provide direct patient care and long-term care residents and staff who have been significantly impacted by the pandemic.
ISDH says more than 20,000 Indiana healthcare workers statewide have already registered to get their first dose.
“Our frontline healthcare workers have taken care of Hoosiers for months,” said State Health Commissioner Kris Box, M.D., FACOG. “By opening vaccine to them first, we are able to protect our healthcare workforce and help ensure that Hoosiers retain access to the care they need, whether it’s due to COVID or another medical matter.”
Dr. Lindsay Weaver, chief medical officer for the Indiana Department of Health, is leading the state's vaccine planning and distribution effort and says they will open the vaccine to additional groups as more shipments are received.
“Science has proven that vaccines are safe and effective at preventing disease, and I encourage Hoosiers to begin learning about the COVID-19 vaccine now so they are ready to protect themselves, their families, and their communities as soon as the vaccine is available to them,” Weaver said.
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