EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - Inside Greater St. James Missionary Baptist Church, ten received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Archie Thomas is thankful that he was one of them.
“I have diabetes so I just thought it would be best for me to take some more precautionary measures to try to be safe,” said Thomas.
The Vanderburgh County Health Department hoped to vaccinate up to 350 people on Wednesday, but with only ten signing up, they weren’t able to risk wasting doses of the vaccine on the potential for walk-in visitors.
“When we open that vial, when we pull it out of the freezer, we have a certain amount of time that we have to use that. And when we puncture it there’s a certain amount of hours when we’ve pulled doses out of there that we have to use those doses. So it is difficult for folks that maybe just want to show up when they have time,” said health department administrator Joe Gries.
With the recent expansion of vaccine eligibility, there is no longer a back-up list for the health department to call on to receive any left-over doses.
“There isn’t anymore, anybody 16 and up can now sign up in the state of Indiana. Even, we’re taking people from outside the state. If you live and work in Kentucky or Illinois, you can come to Indiana and get a shot,” said Gries.
For Thomas, he’s just glad to see things heading in a positive direction, and for him, it started today with that first dose.
“My major trip will be in December, I plan to go to Vegas and I’ve never been so that’s exciting for me so it’ll be good to know that I’m fully vaccinated,” said Thomas.
Gries says they will be hosting another vaccination clinic on May 5, but have not decided on a location yet.