By Dan Spalding
WARSAW – Vaccination efforts in Kosciusko County are going about as well as they can as residents continue to line up for shots at five different locations.
As of Wednesday, more than 12,200 doses have been provided their first of two vaccine shots in Kosciusko County and more than 7,000 county residents are now fully vaccinated.
Kosciusko County Health Officer Dr. William Remington said he’s not aware of severe reactions from any shots administered in the county.
The vaccinations are considered highly safe and carry with them a much higher efficacy rate than the standard flu shot.
On Tuesday, the county health department’s immunization clinic in the K21 Health Pavilion administered 399 doses and is the biggest of five outlets that are providing COVID-19 vaccines free of charge.
The clinic, which relies heavily on volunteers, is receiving 1,600 doses per week, which is about as much as they can process Monday through Thursday.
Remington called the work at the county health clinic “an unprecedented immunization effort.”
“That is a ton of work. We’re doing this on the backs of approximately 230 volunteer hours weekly on top of our paid staff. We couldn’t do it without the cadre of people – wonderful people giving up their time without a nickel in it for them,” Remington said during a news conference at Warsaw City Hall on Wednesday afternoon, March 17.
Other locations where vaccines are being distributed inside Kosciusko County include The Pill Box, Kroger, Meijer and Walmart.
Indiana earlier this week reduced the minimum age to receive a vaccine to 45.
Availability of appointments varies. Some outlets are booked for weeks, but Kroger in Warsaw on Tuesday had openings for Wednesday.
While the clinics are doing as well as could be expected, officials say they have a plan in place for a large-scale vaccination clinic. To look for an appointment go here or call 211.
In other matters, Remington said the county has a reserve of 200 vaccines from Johnson & Johnson that they would like to use for an unidentified at-risk group in a single setting.
The J&J vaccine is preferred for mass vaccination clinics because it only involves one dose, unlike others that require two doses.
Warsaw Mayor Joe Thallemer said the community has lined up a major event.
Distribution continues to be constrained by supply, he said.
“We’ll be ready in a moment’s notice to expand when we get those,” Thallemer said.