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Vaccine Tracker: Indiana eligibility and a closer look at Fulton County

Published: Mar. 30, 2021 at 8:25 PM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - On this edition of the Vaccine Tracker we’re hearing from the Fulton County Health Department ahead of expanded eligibility in Indiana; as of Wednesday it’s 16 and up that are allowed to get the vaccine.

Indiana allowed ages 30-39 to join the mix this past Monday, and according to the Indiana State Department of Health around 79,000 Hoosiers in that age group have already signed up to get the vaccine.

Michiana now sits at 15% fully vaccinated. That number incorporating 12 counties and the population of each county over the age of 16. That Michiana percentage is pretty low compared to Indiana and Michigan as a whole; with Indiana at 20.4% and Michigan at 19.2%.

Here’s the county-by-county map looking at the latest percentages of those fully vaccinated:

Fully Vaccinated in Michiana 3-30
Fully Vaccinated in Michiana 3-30(WNDU)

I spoke with the Fulton County Health Department for the first time on Tuesday and they say they are getting all the doses out that are coming in, but they have had staffing issues. They say the state wants them to expand their vaccination efforts but they just don’t have the infrastructure and personnel to make that happen.

“I thought maybe I was the only one feeling this way, but there’s a lot of health departments that are extremely overwhelmed to do more and more and more and again mentally and physically we’re done, we’re exhausted,” Rhonda Barnett, Fulton County Health Nurse says. “We are at our max right now with people we have, and volunteers we have, and the space we have. We do 500 a week, they have asked us to do more but I don’t we have the manpower and we don’t have the ability to send that many more through.”

This is likely going to be an issue in other counties in Michiana as more people are able to get access to vaccination appointments. We’ll keep an eye on those appointments; many sites around Michiana are at about 2 weeks out.

A reminder, go to ourshot.in.gov to sign up through the state and also keep in mind federal vaccinators like Meijer, Walmart, Sam’s Club, Kroger, CVS, and Rite-Aid.

Madison STEAM Academy in South Bend will have a vaccination site on Wednesday March 31st at 832 N. Lafayette Blvd from 9:00am to 3:00pm.

You’ll need to call 1-888-580-1060 extension 6202 to check for appointment availability. That site at Madison STEAM Academy will have the Johnson & Johnson single dose vaccine.

We’ll continue to keep an eye on the vaccination rollout, and I want to hear from you. Email me at zach.horner@wndu.com or find me on Facebook and send a message if you have an issue or idea of something we can dig into on the Vaccine Tracker.

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