The Journal Gazette
Thursday, August 26, 2021 1:00 am

2-day vaccine clinic set up

ASHLEY SLOBODA | The Journal Gazette

There's a way to avoid the lingering effects of COVID-19, including respiratory issues, heart damage and fatigue, a Lutheran Health Network physician said Wednesday.

Get vaccinated.

“By getting the vaccine, you're preventing yourself or your family from getting the long-term side effects of the actual disease itself,” Dr. Christina Tatara said.

This is true of other vaccines, she added, noting the hepatitis B vaccine prevents someone from getting long-term liver damage.

Tatara and other doctors stressed the importance of vaccinations during a virtual panel discussion hosted by MDwise. The conversation can be replayed; go to

MDwise, a nonprofit health maintenance organization, will host a two-day vaccination clinic this weekend in partnership with Super Shot and the Indiana Department of Health to help children get back on track with their routine shots. COVID-19 shots also will be available to children 12 and older.

Torriaun Everett, a panelist representing MDwise, noted the Fort Wayne event is the first of a series of clinics statewide.

“We felt called to start where the need was the greatest,” Everett said.

This month, MDwise cited state health department data indicating one-third of Allen County students haven't received all their required shots. Statewide, about one-fourth haven't.

Indiana requires numerous vaccines for students in grades K-12, including those for chickenpox, hepatitis A and B, measles, mumps, polio, tetanus and whooping cough, with specific requirements depending on age. The annual flu shot also is recommended.

Dr. Tony GiaQuinta, a pediatrician with Parkview Physicians Group, understands parents might have concerns about vaccinations, especially because the internet is filled with misinformation.

GiaQuinta described how vaccines work and the common, “very well tolerated” side effects – mild fever, swelling and pain or redness around the injection site.

“These are the majority – the vast majority – of side effects, and they are all, all way better than getting the disease itself,” he said.

When parents ask him which vaccine is most important to get, GiaQuinta tells them all routine vaccinations are important. “We have forgotten how dangerous [the diseases] really are,” he said.

Diseases that were so dangerous in the past can become threats again when children don't get the traditional childhood vaccines, Tatara said, describing the protection of herd immunity.

The panelists stressed the importance of getting the COVID-19 vaccine, even for those previously infected because the vaccine provides additional protection – especially as the delta variant rages.

Tatara said she has seen patients who got COVID-19 last fall and have gotten infected again.

“Some of them have actually had worsened symptoms the second time around,” she said. “I would absolutely recommend definitely getting the vaccine.”

If you go

What: Back on Track vaccination clinic

When: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and noon to 3 p.m. Sunday

Where: Super Shot, 1515 Hobson Road

Registration is available at but not required.

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