COVID-19 shots at Memorial Coliseum

A worker welcomes and directs registrants at the COVID-19 vaccination clinic at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum.

The Allen County Department of Health COVID-19 vaccine clinic will expand to serve nearly twice as many Hoosiers each week when it begins providing Pfizer shots early this month.

The department will begin administering the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum beginning the week of March 8. The site has been using only the Moderna vaccine and averaging about 1,200 appointments each week because of limited availability of that vaccine. The transition to the Pfizer shots will allow the department to increase capacity to serve closer to an average of 2,400 people each week.

“We are so grateful for the coliseum site, which allows this expansion in capacity for the ongoing mass vaccination effort,” Mindy Waldron, department administrator, said in a news release. “We look forward to increasing the number of Hoosiers vaccinated against COVID-19 over the next several weeks.”

The increase in appointments will not impact clinic hours at this time, and department staff will be able to accommodate about 100 scheduled appointments each hour. Anyone who received their first Moderna vaccine at the department’s clinic will still be able to receive their second scheduled dose of the same vaccine at that location.

“The sooner we get more people vaccinated, the sooner our community will be better protected from this deadly virus,” Dr. Matthew Sutter, Allen County health commissioner, said in the release. “Our team has been looking for avenues to get more vaccine, and this is a great example of how our partnership with the state can translate into more shots in arms in Allen County.”

Vaccine is still available by appointment only to those currently eligible as determined by the Indiana Department of Health, including Hoosiers 60 and older as well as to licensed and unlicensed health care workers and first responders who have face-to-face interactions with patients or infectious material or work in a public-facing position that requires in-person contact. Appointments must be made in advance at or by calling 2-1-1 daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. No walk-ins will be accepted.

The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine requires two doses administered at least 21 days apart. Individuals will be able to schedule their second appointment at the department’s clinic after receiving the first dose. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it typically takes a few weeks for the body to build immunity after the second vaccination.

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