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Ascension St. Vincent frontline worker Ashley Sheedy, R.N., gets the second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine from nurse Kim Allen, R.N., on Jan. 8. Other frontline workers are also able to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech and now the Moderna vaccine at the St. Vincent Education Center.

The Howard County Health Department’s vaccination clinic will move to the Kokomo Event and Conference Center next week.

The department will begin using the event center, located at 1500 N. Reed Road (Indiana 931), as its primary vaccination clinic starting next Wednesday, Jan. 27, the health department announced Tuesday.

The new location will replace the clinic currently located at the health department’s downtown offices.

Those who received their first dose from the health department and were scheduled to receive their second dose at the original location, will now have to go to the event center. The health department will contact those people to let them know, the department said in a press release. The health department will begin administering second doses of the vaccine in the week of Feb. 8.

The health department’s new clinic does not affect Ascension St. Vincent Kokomo’s vaccination clinic; the hospital will continue to operate its own clinic, separate to the county’s.

The new clinic, according to Commissioner Paul Wyman, will allow the county to vaccinate up to 20 people at the same time.

The health department received 300 extra vaccine doses for this week, atop the usual 500 doses a week the state has been sending to the county. The county is expecting that allocation number to increase in the future, though it’s currently unclear exactly when that will happen and by how much as that decision is made by the state.

Though when it does happen, Wyman said the county will be ready to handle the extra load.

“We’re hoping each week it starts ramping up because we have the capacity for 20 vaccinators,” he said on Z92.5. “Even if we have to move to a full six-day operation or possibly even a seven-day operation, based on the number of doses we’re getting we’ll be in a position to do that because we have the event center.”

Tuesday’s announcement comes a week after officials said they had agreements in place for multiple vaccination clinics in various parts of the county. That idea has been scrapped, at least for now, in place of the central hub at the event center. Though Kristina Sommers, public health emergency coordinator for the health department, told the Tribune the county may return to the idea of operating a handful of clinics across the county in the future as the county’s response to the pandemic has evolved in the past and will all but certainly continue to evolve moving forward.

Vaccinations in Indiana are only open to those 70-years-old and older, first responders and licensed and unlicensed health care workers. Appointments can be made by visiting ourshot.in.gov or by calling 211. One does not have to be vaccinated in the county they reside in.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the health department’s vaccination clinic had several openings for appointment in the week of February 15, and St. Vincent Kokomo’s clinic had openings into March. Those eligible and wishing to be vaccinated are encouraged to check ourshot.in.gov routinely to see if more appointment times have been added.

As of 5 a.m. Tuesday, 2,638 county residents have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and 548 have been fully inoculated, according to the Indiana State Department of Health’s vaccine dashboard.

Statewide, more than 317,000 have received the first vaccine dose and nearly 72,000 Hoosiers are now fully vaccinated. So far, the state has received more than 600,000 vaccine doses.

Tyler Juranovich can be reached at 765-454-8577, by email at tyler.juranovich@kokomotribune.com or on Twitter at @tylerjuranovich

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