Rockville— The Parke County Health Department is now scheduling appointments to administer COVID-19 vaccine to eligible recipients.

The vaccine is available to 1) people age 80 and older 2) licensed and unlicensed healthcare workers and first responders who have face-to-face interactions with patients or infectious material or work in a public-facing position that requires in-person contact. A photo ID, proof of age, or verification of current employment as a healthcare worker or first responder in Indiana will be required.

The Parke County Health Department will be working with EMS to administer the vaccine. We would suggest wearing clothing that allows easy access to the upper arm. We will be administering the Moderna vaccine only, at this time. If someone in the 80 and older population does not have access to a computer or the internet, a family member may register for them. You may also call 211 to register. We will begin vaccinating on Friday, January 15th at the Parke County Fairgrounds.

Due to limited supply, the vaccine is available by appointment only to eligible people as determined by the Indiana Department of Health. That complete list is posted to Appointments can be scheduled at that website beginning Friday, January 8th. There is no cost, but insurance may be charged an administration fee. Please bring your insurance card if you have one. Two doses are required at least 28 days apart for the Moderna vaccine. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it typically takes a few weeks for the body to build immunity after the second vaccination. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the vaccines under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA), meaning the vaccines must be proven safe and effective in the same way that all medications and devices must be. The vaccines have been found in trials to be 94 percent to 95 percent effective in preventing COVID-19 infections in participants. Side effects are temporary and are generally mild, including fatigue, headache and sometimes fever.

Even vaccinated persons may still be able to infect others. After you are vaccinated, please continue wearing a mask and quarantining if you are a close contact of a positive case.

The best ways to protect yourself and others are to:

· Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds

· Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands

· Avoid close contact with people who are sick

· Stay home when you are sick

· Cover your cough or sneeze

· Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces

If you have questions, call the Parke County Health Department at 765-569-6665.