(INDIANAPOLIS) – Marion County’s COVID vaccination efforts are shifting to a smaller-scale approach.
Health director Virginia Caine says demand for the vaccine has been declining at vaccine clinics, so the department is sending out a van to conduct mobile clinics in neighborhoods. The van was on Monument Circle the last two days, and will return to downtown next Wednesday and Thursday outside the federal courthouse.
Caine has set a goal of getting half the county’s population vaccinated. So far, the county is 76,000 people short of that. Caine says most of those who aren’t vaccinated yet are probably people who have doubts about the vaccine. But she says some people have just put it off, or have other issues to deal with. She says the health department needs to do a better job of bringing the vaccine to where people are, rather than expecting people who may rely on public transportation to make a long trip to a clinic.
Caine says bringing the mobile clinic to the people also gives health officials the opportunity to address vaccine hesitancy directly. Just 25 people got the shot on the first day of the Monument Circle clinic, but Caine says three times that many showed up to get questions answered about the vaccine’s success rate or side effects. Caine says she’ll be “extremely happy” if the clinics vaccinate 50 people a day.
Marion Superior Judge Amy Jones says with more downtown businesses and government agencies bringing workers back to the office, downtown is getting busier, and holding clinics downtown gives them an opportunity to take care of their vaccination over lunch. Before the pandemic, she says five-thousand people a day would pass through the City-County Building.