Last month, local hospitals received their first shipments of the COVID-19 vaccine. Now, St. Joseph County Department of Health is awaiting its first shipment, which is scheduled to arrive next week.

Deputy Health Officer Dr. Mark Fox said the health department expects to receive 1,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine by Monday, Jan. 11. The department plans to start administering those shots the following Tuesday.


(Provided by IU Health)

The end of 2020 brought the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to our area, and a full public vaccination campaign is expected for this summer. However, health officials say the beginning of the vaccination campaign doesn’t mean the end of COVID-19 safety protocols.

At the county's COVID-19 update on Dec. 30, Berrien County Health Officer Nicki Britten said we’re entering a “messy period,” where people need to continue masking and distancing even if they’ve been fully or partially vaccinated.


Michigan's 'Big House' Now A 'Big Vaccine Clinic'

Jan 1, 2021

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — The University of Michigan’s Big House has been transformed into The Big Vaccine Clinic. A few hundred University of Michigan medical professionals and students who work in health care settings received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday at Michigan Stadium, one of the nation’s largest sporting venues. The on-campus stadium welcomed 100,000-plus maize-and-blue-clad fans on fall Saturdays before the pandemic. The university says its employees and students will receive a Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine dose at the football stadium clinic.

COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout Issues Pop Up Across Indiana

Dec 30, 2020
(Courtesy of the Indiana Department of Health)

Rollout of COVID-19 vaccines in Indiana remains focused on frontline health care workers and nursing home residents. That’s even as some hospitals are reportedly vaccinating people much further down the priority list, like teachers.

Vaccine Delivered To Indiana Prison Where Feds Carry Out Executions

Dec 30, 2020

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Bureau of Prisons has started vaccinating staff members and some inmates at the federal prison complex where the Justice Department carries out federal executions, as officials work to contain a coronavirus outbreak at the facility. An agency spokesman tells The Associated Press that by Wednesday, doses of the coronavirus vaccine had been delivered to 19 prisons, including the Federal Correctional Complex in Terre Haute, Indiana. They include some prisons that have been hit the hardest during the pandemic.

State: About 71,000 In Michigan Received Virus Vaccinations

Dec 29, 2020
Screenshot via Vimeo news conference

About 71,000 people have received the first of two rounds of coronavirus vaccinations in Michigan, where more than 480,000 virus cases have been confirmed. Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have already been distributed to hospitals, local health departments and tribal health clinics. The state says residents and staff at skilled nursing homes began receiving the Moderna vaccine on Monday. Michigan's Department of Health and Human Services says it has received 231,075 doses of both vaccines.

(Provided by IU Health)

As more Hoosiers continue to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, there are questions about herd immunity. Herd immunity is when the majority of people in a certain population are vaccinated, so they end up helping protect the part of the population that is not. As Christmas nears, health experts stress the importance of remaining cautious of the virus as the state works toward achieving herd immunity.


INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana health officials are reporting 2,494 new coronavirus infections and 43 additional deaths. Also Monday, officials began administering a vaccine for nearly 1,000 long-term care facilities across the state. The Indiana State Department of Health says the newly confirmed deaths raised Indiana’s overall toll to 7,886, including both confirmed and presumed infections. Long-term care residents account for 50% of Indiana’s coronavirus deaths but make up less than 1% of Indiana's population.

(Lauren Chapman/IPB News)

A study at Indiana University aims to shed light on so-called COVID-19 immunity, after a person has been infected or after being vaccinated. Studies like this one could also help shape what the COVID-19 vaccine response looks like.

DETROIT (AP) — Michigan’s chief justice wants judges and other court staff across the state to be among the second wave of people to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, saying that doing so “will keep our court system running, safeguard rights, and slow the spread of the virus.” Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Bridget McCormack made the request in a letter to Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, the state’s chief medical executive.


Medical professionals across the country are being vaccinated against COVID-19. For Dr. Gabriel Bosslet, a pulmonologist in Indianapolis, it was a day he'll never forget. He spoke with Side Effects Public Media's Carter Barrett, before getting the vaccine — and just hours after the first dose.

(Courtesy of IU Health)

About 40,000 Hoosiers will have received the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine by the end of Tuesday.

Jill Sheridan/WFYI

Indiana health officials joined a webinar Tuesday to discuss COVID-19 vaccination advances and efforts to equitably vaccinate Hoosiers.

The Indiana Minority Health Coalition hosted the event to highlight the importance of the vaccine and to dispel myths about it. U.S. Surgeon General and former Indiana Health Commissioner Jerome Adams said COVID-19 laid bare health inequities.  

“The diseases that impact all of us,” Adams said, “almost always disproportionately impact people of color.”

Captured via Facebook Live

It will be months before the general public has access to the COVID-19 vaccine, but some people are already wondering what the shots may cost.

Berrien County Health Officer Nicki Britten said nobody is allowed to be charged or billed for the vaccine itself.


“Cost will not be a barrier for anybody," she said. "That is something that is being provided to the American public.”


Photo provided courtesy of Goshen Health

Goshen Health officials provided an update on the COVID-19 vaccination campaign begun on Dec. 18. 

(You can read the latest release below.)

GOSHEN, Ind., December 21, 2020 – In the first two days, Goshen Health administered the COVID-19 vaccination to 561 people, with another 222 scheduled to be completed today. Plus, the organization has already received its second shipment of the vaccine.

(Provided by IU Health)

The Indiana State Department of Health reported 575 additional confirmed deaths over the last week – the most reported in a single week during the pandemic, and nearly double the high reported in April. That brings the state’s total to 7,070 confirmed deaths. ISDH also reported nearly 39,000 new cases in the last week.

Saint Joseph Health System

Friday, Dec. 18, was the first day of COVID-19 vaccination for some healthcare workers in Elkhart and St. Joseph Counties. 


Emergency physician and hospitalist Mark Walsh received St. Joseph Health System's first vaccine Friday morning. 


"It's the single most important tool that we have to protect me and to protect the entire nation," Walsh said.


Goshen Health also administered its first vaccines on Friday to doctors, nurses and therapists.

Image provided by Goshen Health

Today Goshen Health announced it administered its first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. 

Pence, Wife Karen, Surgeon General Get COVID-19 Vaccines

Dec 18, 2020
(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Vice President Mike Pence has received the coronavirus vaccine during a White House event aimed at convincing skeptical Americans that the vaccines are safe. Pence's wife, Karen, and Surgeon General Jerome Adams also got the vaccine on Friday during the event that was televised. In remarks after his shot, Pence called the speed with which the vaccine was developed "a medical miracle." The pandemic has killed more than 310,000 in the United States.

(Justin Hicks/IPB News)

With some exceptions, Indiana employers can legally require workers to be vaccinated for COVID-19. But, that probably won’t happen anytime soon due to several factors including a limited supply.

Captured via Facebook Live

During the weekly Berrien County COVID-19 update on Dec. 17, Spectrum Health Lakeland President Dr. Loren Hamel said the county received just under 1,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine. The first of those doses, he said, were administered Wednesday night.

"I was there with a line down the hall waiting to get vaccinated, folks with excitement and a few tears," Hamel said.

Hamel said the vaccine's arrival felt like a turning point, where healthcare workers can move from a "defensive" COVID strategy to an "offensive" one that's focused on prevention.


INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — As Indiana’s front-line health care workers begin receiving the state’s first shots of Pfizer’s vaccine against the coronavirus, uncertainties remain about future numbers of incoming doses and who should be inoculated next. , Indiana’s chief medical officer, Dr. Lindsay Weaver, said Wednesday that five Indiana hospitals have received doses. Weaver says that so far 46,000 of the state’s more than 400,000 eligible health care workers have registered for an appointment to get their first shot.

Captured via WebX

St. Joseph Health System is one of 50 sites in the state of Indiana that will receive a shipment of COVID-19 vaccine later this week. 

Chief Clinical Officer Gen Lankowicz said the health system is set to receive 975 doses of the Pfizer vaccine Thursday, Dec. 17, which staff will begin administering on Friday.

First Vaccine Doses Are Administered In Indiana

Dec 14, 2020
From handout video from ISDH

The first COVID-19 vaccines in Indiana have been administered in Ft. Wayne. 

(AP Photo/Morry Gash, Pool)

NEW ALBANY, Ind. (AP) — A southern Indiana plant is ramping up production of special coolers needed to store and distribute COVID-19 vaccines across the nation to combat the pandemic. The News and Tribune reports Arizona-based Foam Fabricators has increased staffing by 20% at its New Albany plant to keep up with demand for the coolers that will be used for the vaccines developed by Pfizer and Moderna. Production of the coolers began in mid-October. The Food and Drug Administration authorized emergency use of Pfizer’s vaccine on Friday.

COVID-19 Vaccine Shipments Begin In Historic U.S. Effort

Dec 13, 2020
(AP Photo/Morry Gash, Pool)

KALAMAZOO, Michigan (AP) — The first trucks carrying a COVID-19 vaccine for widespread use in the United States have pulled out of a Michigan manufacturing plant. The shipments Sunday morning set in motion the biggest vaccination effort in American history. The shots that are critical to stopping the nation's coronavirus outbreak are destined to reach states a day later. Initial doses of the Pfizer vaccine will likely be limited to health workers and nursing home residents.

Pence Sets Indiana Trip To Discuss Coronavirus Vaccine

Dec 11, 2020
(AP Photo/Jeffrey Collins)

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) — Vice President Mike Pence has scheduled an Indiana trip to discuss coronavirus vaccines as federal officials are expected to soon authorize the first such vaccine for widespread use. Pence's office announced Friday that he would travel on Tuesday to Bloomington, where he will tour a vaccine production facility and lead a roundtable discussion about the vaccination campaign against the COVID-19 outbreak that has killed close to 300,000 Americans.

Photo provided by the State of Michigan

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan expects to receive about 257,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines initially if the federal government authorizes them for emergency use this month, enough to immunize roughly 128,000 residents. Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, the state's chief medical executive, says the priority remains frontline health care workers and people living and working in long-term care facilities such as nursing homes. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced a commission to raise awareness on the safety and effectiveness of coronavirus vaccines that get the green light.

(Lauren Chapman/IPB News)

Indiana officials say the state expects to get about 55,000 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine next week, with further amounts still unknown.


President Trump is speaking at a summit about efforts to develop and distribute a coronavirus vaccine. Watch his remarks and others in the administration live. The event is expected to start at 2pm.