Indiana gets COVID-19 vaccine, health workers top priority
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana’s first doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine arrived Monday and several workers at a Fort Wayne hospital became the first in the state administered the shots to protect them from the coronavirus, state health officials said.
Six health workers at Parkview Health, including a physician and nurse, received their first dose of the two-dose vaccine shortly after noon Monday, the Indiana State Department of Health said in a news release.
Parkview Health and Clark Memorial Hospital in Jeffersonville are among five Indiana hospitals getting the vaccine under a pilot program. Deaconess Hospital in Evansville, IU Methodist in Indianapolis and Community Hospital in Munster should receive doses in the coming days.
By week’s end, more than 50 Indiana hospitals and clinics are expected to receive a total of 55,575 vaccine doses as part of the largest vaccination campaign in U.S. history.
State Health Commissioner Dr. Kristina Box said frontline health workers in hospitals, and nursing home staff, will get the vaccine first because they are at high risk of exposure to COVID-19.
She said that approach will “protect our healthcare workforce and help ensure that Hoosiers retain access to the care they need, whether it’s due to COVID or another medical matter.”
Indiana’s health department reported Monday that another 35 Hoosiers had died from COVID-19, raising Indiana’s pandemic toll to 6,840, including both confirmed and presumed infections.