INDIANAPOLIS — Less than a week after getting emergency authorization, the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is arriving in Indiana.
It's getting here none too soon for health care providers who were beginning to run short of the Pfizer vaccine.
Community Health Network received 3,000 doses of the highly sought after Moderna vaccine. Health care workers are already signed up to get it.
IU Health Methodist Hospital received 4,000 doses. Six other facilities in the state's largest health care network got their own shipments.
"It's big. We are excited," said Dr. Chris Weaver, chief clinical officer for IU Health. "We need the supply we are excited to get those. We are going to need much, more."
Weaver figures the network's seven clinics can vaccinate a thousand heath care workers a day.
"We are confident we can vaccinate more if we get the supply," Weaver said.
But without a reliable supply of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, IU Health was scaling back vaccinations to stretch its inventory.
"If we were going full tilt, giving the vaccines as quickly as we could, we probably had three or four days of doing that," Weaver said.
Slowing down the clinics, vaccinating fewer people and not running out of the vaccine prevented even more serious problems.
"We didn't want to have any occasions where we had someone scheduled to get the vaccine and they showed up and we said sorry we don't have any vaccine," Dr. Weaver explained.
Not knowing when or how much vaccine will arrive has created a logistical headache for hospitals running clinics 12 hours a day, six or seven days a week and scheduling workers and patients weeks in advance.
Even with supply problems, in less than a week, clinics have vaccinated more than 40,000 of the state's 600,000 health care workers.
Health care providers hope that the new normal quickly creates reliable supply of vaccines that help speed up their life.