AUBURN — DeKalb County officials rehearsed Monday for the first COVID-19 vaccinations in the county, to be administered Wednesday at Middaugh Hall on the DeKalb County Fairgrounds in Auburn..
A “soft rollout” will begin with 150 vaccinations this week and 150 on Wednesday, Jan. 20. All appointments to receive vaccinations are filled for both dates.
The limited number of vaccinations “will give us an opportunity to make sure everything’s working,” said Jason Meek, DeKalb County Homeland Security director.
Local health officials hope to be able to give more shots during the week of Jan. 25-29, but all decisions are being made by state health authorities.
“It just feels so good to be able to finally give the vaccine,” said Dr. James Buchanan, a retired physician who is serving as a volunteer for Wednesday’s vaccinations.
Approximately 20 volunteers will be working Wednesday at Middaugh Hall. They include active and retired nurses, pharmacists and paramedics.
Monday afternoon, county nurse Cheryl Lynch, RN, briefed the volunteers on procedures for the first two vaccination clinics.
People arriving for shots will stop at a screening station to make sure they are well, then proceed to a registration area. Then they will move to one of three vaccination stations. After receiving their shots, they will wait in an observation area for 15-30 minutes to watch for adverse reactions. The length of observation time depends on each person’s medical history.
Vaccinations will be available to health care workers, first responders and people who are age 80 and older. Lynch said she does not know how many from each group are signed up for the first two sessions.
“A lot of first responders got it in other counties,” Lynch said about the vaccine.
People coming to Middaugh Hall on Jan. 13 and 20 will receive the Moderna vaccine, which requires only a standard level of refrigeration. They will be eligible for the second dose of vaccine after waiting 28 days.
State health officials are handling appointments online at vaccine.coronavirus.in.gov/ or by calling 211. People should not go to the DeKalb County Health Department office for scheduling or for shots, Lynch said.