Vaccine volunteers

Jessica Price of the Noble County Health Department works with volunteers Ann Carpenter and Pam Baker at one of four registration stations at the Noble County vaccine clinic in this file photo from January. Clinic staff are now building a call list of people who may be able to get “extra” doses, if leftovers are available at the end of the day.

ALBION — If you don’t quite qualify for a COVID-19 vaccine yet but have a serious medical condition, the Noble County Health Department is building a call list of people who could get any “extra” doses available at the end of the clinic day.

“In an effort to protect our Noble County citizens who do not presently qualify to sign up on Indiana’s vaccine registration site online at ourshot.in.gov or 211, conditions below will be prioritized for the On Call List for the Noble County Indiana Vaccine Clinic site at the Noble County Public Library, 813 E. Main St., Albion,” Noble County Health Officer Dr. Terry Gaff said in a release Wednesday.

Being on the call list does not guarantee that you’ll get a vaccine before you qualify based on the state’s official eligibility guidelines, but may provide an opportunity to get a shot early.

In an effort to prevent wastage of limited vaccines, clinics generally keep a call list of people they can contact to rush over to get a vaccine if the clinic has extra doses available due to no-shows or cancellations.

Since vaccines have a limited life once the bottle is opened, health officials aim to distribute every single dose and have the flexibility to give a dose to someone even outside the current eligibility to ensure no shots end up in the trash.

The county will ideally be looking for people who can arrive at the clinic in a matter of minutes if notified. Clinic workers will ask what your estimated travel time is.

Noble County residents can call our COVID Vaccine Call Center at 508-0232 during the following hours to potentially get their name on the call list:

• Mondays. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

• Wednesdays. noon to 8 p.m.

• Fridays 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

• Saturdays 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Noble County is not throwing the call list wide open to anyone, but will instead prioritize residents with serious medical conditions closest to the current eligibility guidelines first.

The county will give consideration to people with the following conditions: cancer; chronic kidney disease; COPD; Downs syndrome; heart conditions such as heart failure, coronary artery disease of cardiomyopathies; obesity, with a body-mass index of 30 but not higher than 40 and severe obesity, for a BMI of 40 or higher; pregnancy; sickle cell disease; and Type 2 diabetes mellitus. Smokers will also be considered.

The health department notes the above list is not exhaustive and other conditions may be considered. Patients with medical conditions should consult their physician about whether the vaccine is recommended for them and to discuss possible risks.

“Adults of any age with certain underlying medical conditions are at increased risk for severe illness from the virus that causes COVID-19. Severe illness from COVID-19 is defined as hospitalization, admission to the ICU, intubation or mechanical ventilation, or death,” the health department said.

Although the science on the interaction of COVID-19 with many conditions is still developing, Gaff noted that other conditions put people at increased risk of severe illness.

Those conditions include: asthma; cerebrovascular disease; cystic fibrosis; high blood pressure; weakened immune systems from blood or bone marrow transplant, immune deficiencies, HIV, use of corticosteroids, or use of other immune-weakening medicines; neurologic conditions, such as dementia; liver disease; pre-obesity BMIs of 25-30; pulmonary fibrosis; thalassemia (a type of blood disorder); and Type 1 diabetes mellitus.

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