History was made in Daviess County Monday when 51 residents, either age 80 or older or front line workers, received their first dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.
Offered at the Daviess County Health Department’s location in the newly opened Government Center, Phil Baker was the first to receive the vaccine.
“I’m just happy to get it,” said Baker, 73, who works for Williams Bros. “To be the first one, well, I’m really surprised. And, for the record, it didn’t hurt one bit.”
Baker said he had no hesitation in getting the vaccine.
“I couldn’t wait to get this vaccine. I’ve talked with several who said they weren’t sure if they were going to get it or not. They said they weren’t sure if the vaccine was going to be any good or not. I told them, it wouldn’t be putting it out if it wasn’t any good. I think everyone should get it.”
Rick Wirey was also one of the first to get the vaccine but he wasn’t quite as enthusiastic as Baker.
“I’m not a big fan of shots,” said Wirey, who warned nurse Ashley Harroll of his dislike of shots and needles.
Before he could say much else, Harroll had completed his vaccination.
“You’re done,” she said. “Now we just need you to wait 15 minutes in here or in your vehicle and if you start to not feel well,let us know.”
“Either I didn’t get one or you’re really good,” joked Wirey. “That didn’t hurt a bit.”
Daviess County Public Health Nurse Kathy Sullender said the county had 100 doses of the vaccine and would be receiving 100 more on Monday.
“It will also be the Moderna vaccine,” she said, adding the county is allocated a limited number of vaccines weekly. “It’s recommended that when you start with one vaccine, you also receive that same kind of vaccine the second time. So if you get the Moderna vaccine the first time, you will want to continue with the Moderna vaccine.”
Registering for an appointment to get the vaccine is fairly simple. Appointments can be scheduled online at ourshot.in.gov or by calling 211.
“We will be giving vaccinations on Wednesday and Friday of this week and Tuesday and Thursday next week,” said Sullender.
Appointments for the vaccine are scheduled every 10 minutes.
“We really want those 80 and older register for the vaccine and for everyone to please continue to wash hands, social distance and wear masks,” said Daviess County Health Officer Dr. Merle Holsopple.
Pre-registration will help get people in and out of appointments faster and is also easy complete. It’s essentially your basic health history and insurance information if applicable.
Rather than coming into the health department, those with appointments are asked to wait in their cars.
“We are following all social distancing guidelines including wearing masks,” said Daviess County Emergency Preparedness Coordinator Kellie Streeter.
Only the person receiving the vaccine should come into the health department through its entrance on Fourth Street unless you have special needs or are a direct caregiver.
Health department staff will let those getting the vaccine know when it’s their time to enter the building. After receiving the vaccine, Sullender said it’s important for patients to wait 15 minutes before leaving in case they may start to feel ill.
“While in your car, if you begin to feel sick or need assistance, just honk your horn,” said Sullender.
Prior to leaving the health department, those getting the vaccine will also receive an appointment date for their second vaccination which will take place roughly three weeks later.