Teachers, first responders start receiving COVID-19 vaccines in Indiana

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EVANSVILLE (WEHT) – It’s not just health care workers and long term care residents getting COVID vaccinations in Evansville. A small number of teachers, police and first responders have started getting the vaccine too and it’s all about making sure no doses go unused.

“And we do have excitement. I see it on the faces of my healthcare colleagues who are proudly posting pictures of themselves receiving the vaccine on social media,” said Dr. Lindsay Weaver, chief medical officer of the Indiana Department of Health.

It’s something many of us have waited months to see: people receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. And now, not only healthcare workers get to claim they’ve been vaccinated. New groups of front line workers are being called in to receive their vaccine as well.

“We’re reaching out to those in phase 1B. Police, fire, teacher. Just making sure we use all of our supply,” said Brian Spencer, pharmacy service line manager with Deaconess.

Each vile of the vaccine contains multiple doses. When there are doses left over at the end of the day, medical professionals then call the next group of essential workers, like teachers, police and firefighters who’ve already signed up for the vaccine. When these people show up, they’ll be asked questions about their medical history first.

“A very quick questionnaire. Then we put them in our system to get their vaccine. We do ask them to wait the 15 minutes or 30 minutes if they’ve had a past allergic reaction. And then they’re on their way,” Spencer said.

Making this as simple as possible on everyone.

“I want to stress that we are moving in a very intentional order of eligibility for vaccine. We want to make sure that we have enough vaccine before we open up vaccinations to additional groups,” Weaver said.

More groups of people are being considered for vaccinations in the new year. Medical experts say they’re looking to vaccinate those 75 and older starting in January or February.

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(This story was originally published on December 30, 2020)

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