IU Health Bloomington readies for COVID-19 vaccinations of front line workers
Bloomington, Indiana – In the coming weeks COVID-19 vaccines will be given out at 50 Indiana hospitals to front line health care workers. It will also be administered to the staff at long term care facilities.
“I think it gives them a great deal of hope. They have seen a lot of illness, sickness, they have seen families changed,” explains Carol Weiss-Kennedy, Director of Community Health for the IU Health South Central Region, “It gives them hope. They do see a light at the end of the tunnel.”
IU Health Bloomington will be one of two IU health facilities to get the shots in the south central region. In all, seven IU health facilities will be receiving the vaccine. They expect it to land at IU Methodist before reaching the 50 other hospitals the following day. The Bloomington location plans to start with emergency room and intensive care unit workers first. They are following similar protocols to how they administer the flu shot, and will not be giving an entire unit the vaccine at once, just in case there are any mild side effects. People who get the vaccine are still recommended to wear masks, social distance, and wash their hands.
“This vaccine is a two-dose vaccine, so you aren’t completely immune, and those antibodies built, until you have had the second dose,” adds Weiss-Kennedy, saying the second shot will come 21 days later, and must be the same brand as the first, “We don’t really know, is it a week or two weeks until those antibodies are there?”
Weiss-Kennedy believes the vaccine may be available by mid-January for what they call 1B recipients, and that could be essential workers, older adults or people with comorbidities.
“I think the key would be for people to trust this, and to help support people to get it, and follow the process,” says Weiss-Kennedy.