Vaccine

MONTICELLO – The COVID-19 vaccine is now available in White County to those to meet criteria set forth by the Indiana State Department of Health.

According to a press release issued Jan. 8 from the White County Health Department, a vaccine clinic is established at Ivy Tech Community College, 1017 O’Connor Blvd., Monticello, for eligible recipients.

Eligible recipients include people age 80 and older, as well as licensed and unlicensed healthcare 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.

Because of a limited supply, appointments to receive the vaccine must be made through the ISDH website — https://ourshot.in.gov — for those who are currently eligible. A photo ID, proof of age, or verification of current employment as a healthcare worker or first responder in Indiana will be required.

A complete list of eligible folks who can receive the vaccine now is also available at the website.

There is no cost to the individual, but insurance may be charged an administration fee. Individuals should bring a photo ID and an insurance card if they have one.

Two vaccines, developed by Pfizer and Moderna, are currently available. Each requires two doses administered at least 21 days apart for the Pfizer vaccine and 28 days apart for the Moderna vaccine.

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.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the vaccines under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA), meaning the vaccines must be proven safe and effective in the same way that all medications and devices must be.

The vaccines, health department officials said, have been found in trials to be 94 percent to 95 percent effective in preventing COVID-19 infections in participants. Side effects are temporary and are generally mild, including fatigue, headache and sometimes fever.

People who have been vaccinated may still be able to infect others, so even those who are vaccinated should continue wearing a mask and quarantine if they are a close contact of a positive case.

The best ways to protect yourself and others are to:

• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds;

• Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands;

• Avoid close contact with people who are sick;

• Stay home when you’re sick;

• Cover your cough or sneeze;

• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

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