MADISON COUNTY, Ind. — After President Joe Biden announced a series of measures aimed at increasing COVID-19 vaccine allocation and distribution on Tuesday, Madison County health officials said they are preparing for an increased shipment as early as next week.
“We’re doing 140-150 vaccines per day the way it is,” said Stephenie Grimes, administrator with the Madison County Health Department. “But I kept saying we can double it. We can double it. With existing staff, we can easily double it.”
Grimes said beginning February 2, the county health department will receive 2,000 doses of vaccine, compared to their usual 500 doses.
“I’m pretty excited about it,” said Grimes. “I have no doubt that staff can handle and will be happy to handle the increase.”
During Wednesday’s weekly COVID-19 press conference, Governor Eric Holcomb said the Biden administration has increased Indiana’s vaccine allocation by 16%, or roughly 13,000 doses a week.
Still, the extra doses coming to Madison County are not yet reflected in the state’s online registration site. Grimes said she plans to update staffing schedules and increase appointment times before submitting the county’s new plan to the state health department for approval.
“I know we can do it. I know we can,” Grimes said. “Just be patient with the process. Give us a couple days to work out all the kinks.”
Meanwhile in Hamilton County, health officials do not know how many extra doses they will receive in the coming weeks, nor when it will arrive.
“We’re already taking the steps necessary to be ready for any type of increase of vaccine,” said Christian Walker, public health preparedness coordinator for the Hamilton County Health Dept.
Walker said the county has seen incremental increases in their vaccine supply over the past few weeks. Right now, Walker said the county receives 1,200 doses a week and administers roughly 220 doses a day.
“We will continue to adapt our strategy to maximize our throughput here within the county,” Walker said. “We are currently set up where if we go maximum capacity, with some help from our friends, we can get up to 10,000 a week very easily.”
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