INDIANAPOLIS — In less than a week, hospital clinics across the state vaccinated about 40,000 Indiana health care workers. The mass vaccinations are going better than many expected.
"It's exciting to have. I feel like we are fighting back," said Dr. David Dunkle, president and CEO of Johnson Memorial Health.
It will be a long fight In Indiana, as there are 600,000 health care workers to vaccinate. According to the Indiana State Department of Health, the vaccination of the state's most vulnerable people, residents of long-term health care facilities, is scheduled to begin next week. That will largely depend on the arrival of the just-approved Moderna vaccine.
Johnson Memorial received just 500 doses of the 2,000 it expected.
During Governor Eric Holcomb's weekly briefing, there were numerous questions about the vaccines and their availability.
"Of course we will take as much vaccine as we are allocated," said Dr. Lindsay Weaver, chief medical officer for the State Department of Health. "I will say I am happy that right now our problem is we have more people that want the vaccine than is available...This is going to be a scarce resource for quite some time."
Holcomb put it another way.
"The Rolling Stones say, 'you don't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you get what you need,'" he said.
In addition to more vaccine, more hospitals need more workers to be vaccinated. Statewide, according to the health department, one-in-three say they are unsure they will get the vaccine.
"There have been adequate trials. Stop being fearful," Dunkle explained. "Get out and get your vaccine. That is the only way we will get the pandemic behind us. It's the only way we will get back to living our normal lives again."
The struggle now centers on getting more vaccine and people to trust it.