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St. Joseph County Health Dept. Administers First COVID-19 Vaccine Doses

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Justin Hicks / IPBS
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Before administering the COVID-19 vaccine to healthcare workers, first responders and individuals over age 80 this week, the St. Joseph County Health Department held a trial run for on Jan. 11.

Former South Bend Schools Superintendent Virginia Calvin was one of 10 community members who received a first dose of the vaccine on Monday. She said she didn’t sleep well the night before, anticipating a disorganized staff and a painful shot. 

 

“I am a big chicken, so I was afraid of the needle," Calvin said. "I had a very competent person and it was an easy process for me.”

 

The health department invited 10 individuals to get vaccinated on Monday so registrars and nurses could practice using the online immunization system. The clinic – which is located inside the St. Hedwig  Memorial Center – is set to be fully operational by Tuesday.

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Credit Justin Hicks / IPBS
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A box of COVID-19 vaccine doses sits in the freezer at the St. Joseph County Health Department's vaccination clinic at St. Hedwig Memorial Center.

County Health Officer Dr. Bob Einterz said he hopes the start of vaccination will help reassure community members who might be hesitant to get the vaccine. 

 

“My hope is that even the 10 individuals who are being vaccinated today will go into the community and spread the word that they got vaccinated and that they did just fine,” Einterz said.

 

Vaccination appointments must be made via the state’s online registry – walk-ins won’t be accepted. Einterz said anyone who’s eligible can call Indiana 211 or register online. 

 

Contact Gemma atgdicarlo@wvpe.orgor follow her on Twitter at@gemma_dicarlo.

If you appreciate this kind of journalism on your local NPR station, please support it by donating here. 

Gemma DiCarlo comes to Indiana by way of Athens, Georgia. She graduated from the University of Georgia in 2020 with a degree in Journalism and certificates in New Media and Sustainability. She has radio experience from her time as associate producer of Athens News Matters, the flagship public affairs program at WUGA-FM.
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