The Journal Gazette
 
 
Thursday, February 25, 2021 1:00 am

Milestone for Parkview

Reaches 50,000 vaccines in just over 2 months

ROSA SALTER RODRIGUEZ | The Journal Gazette

Parkview Health has gone from zero to 50,000 in just over two months.

That's how many COVID-19 vaccination shots have been given by the health system since it administered the first four shots in Indiana on Dec. 14. Those receiving the first immunizations were front-line health care workers.

Parkview's Mirro Center for Research and Innovation mass vaccination site was the scene of a celebration of the 50,000th shot Wednesday morning. The celebration was complete with big balloons spelling out 50,000 and certificates of appreciation for the nearly 400 staff members and others who cooperated in the achievement.

Parkview is just one of the area health organizations marking milestones as the pandemic's emphasis shifts to preventing cases of COVID-19 through vaccination and lessening the strain of hospitalizations and deaths.

The Indiana Department of Health reported Wednesday that 920,930 Hoosiers have received their first shot and 482,564 have been fully vaccinated. In the previous 24 hours, 15,714 first shots and 22,969 second shots were given, the state's vaccination site said Wednesday.

Two shots spaced about three weeks apart are needed for the two vaccines in widespread use in Indiana.

Of the shots reported statewide, 47,172 first shots were administered in Allen County, and 27,559 people have been fully immunized. Not all those people live in Allen County, as Hoosiers can receive shots anywhere in Indiana.

Tami Brigle, Parkview Health spokeswoman, said the Mirro Center vaccination numbers were higher than those reported for Allen County by the Indiana State Department of Health because the state counts doses given to residents of the county. People who live in any Indiana county can be vaccinated at the Mirro site, and, until recently, so could people from other states who work in Indiana and meet eligibility requirements, Brigle said.

The Allen County Health Department announced Wednesday it will double its capability to provide vaccinations at its site at Memorial Coliseum in early March.

County health officials said the site has been using only the Moderna vaccine and averaging about 1,200 appointments each week because of limited vaccine availability.

On March 8, the site will switch to the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine and will offer about 2,400 appointments a week, officials said. 

The two vaccines are similar in safety and effectiveness, but the Moderna vaccines do not need to be stored in super-cold conditions. The county health department had lacked that ability but expects to get it by way of the state health department, said Megan Hubartt, county health department spokeswoman.

Hubartt said that as of Sunday the Coliseum site had administered 7,034 shots, with 5,683 first shots and 1,351 second doses.

The increase in appointments next month can be accommodated during current clinic hours, she said. Staff can do about 100 appointments an hour, she said.

Anyone who received a first dose of the Moderna vaccine will still be able to get the second dose at the Coliseum. And, as of this week, those 60 and older can register for an appointment online at ourshot.in.gov or calling 211 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. No walk-ins are allowed.

Those registering can choose from several area sites with available appointments. Shots also are being given locally by Neighborhood Health Clinics in Fort Wayne and Lutheran Health.

Lutheran Health and Neighborhood Health could not be reached Wednesday afternoon for information on how many shots the sites had given. State officials say they plan to expand vaccination sites to some Kroger and Meijer supermarkets and chain drugstores, including CVS. 

Dr. Jeffrey Boord, Parkview's chief quality and safety officer, said the Mirro site continues to use the Pfizer vaccine. The site may get additional vaccine supplies from other companies as they become approved for emergency use by the federal Food and Drug Administration, he said. Johnson & Johnson may have a vaccine approved Friday.

Boord was among Parkview officials who led a media tour of the Mirro site. It features a large, socially distanced waiting area, two screening areas, a vaccine pharmacy where shots are prepared and a line of individual stations where shots are given.

Two curtained treatment areas can be used for anyone who is experiencing distress before or after receiving a shot, and the site is staffed with emergency medical technicians and an ambulance that can transport a patient to Parkview Regional Medical Center across the street.

“We have not had a severe allergic reaction yet,” Boord said, noting that such reactions have been reported but are rare.

Allen County on Wednesday reported 62 new COVID-19 cases for a total of 35,699 and no new deaths to add to its total of 632. After dipping below 1,000 for several straight days, the state's new cases rose over a thousand to 1,019. The state's total is 658,043.

Fourteen new deaths statewide were reported, bringing the total to 12,039 confirmed deaths and 428 probable deaths without a positive test. 

Dr. Matthew Sutter, Allen County health commissioner, said the increasing number of vaccinations will help control the disease. “The sooner we get more people vaccinated, the sooner our community will be better protected from this deadly virus,” he said. 

rsalter@jg.net

Vaccinations

Adams County: 4,247 first doses; 2,493 fully vaccinated 

Allen: 47,172; 27,559 

DeKalb: 5,484; 2,510

Huntington: 5,848; 2,405

Kosciusko: 8,627; 3,513

LaGrange: 3,217; 1,441

Noble: 5,264; 2,307

Steuben: 5,892; 3,604

Wabash: 4,913; 1,912

Wells: 4,120; 1,701

Whitley: 5,182; 2,013

  Source: Indiana Department of Health

New cases Adams County: 5 Allen: 62 DeKalb: 8 Huntington: 11 Kosciusko: 5 LaGrange: 1 Noble: 8 Steuben: 4 Wabash: 8 Wells: 7 Whitley: 10 Sources: Indiana State Department of Health, Allen County Department of Health, DeKalb County Health Department

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