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Hamilton County to make switch from Moderna to Pfizer vaccine

HAMILTON COUNTY, Ind. (WISH) – On Tuesday, the Hamilton County Health Department will switch their COVID-19 vaccines from Moderna to Pfizer at the 4H Fairgrounds clinic in Noblesville.

The switch will triple vaccinations at the site, and will also allow the Indiana Department of Health to use more Moderna vaccines for their mobile units in rural areas.

The state has been receiving more Pfizer vaccines and asked the county to make the change.

Currently, the Hamilton County vaccine clinic distributes around 1,200 vaccines weekly. The change will enable the site to vaccinate more than 3,500 people a week.

The Pfizer vaccine must be stored at -94 degrees Fahrenheit, making it harder to transport. The state will help Hamilton County and provide a special freezer for the Pfizer vaccine.

The biggest challenge is ensuring that people who already got their first dose of Moderna vaccine at the Hamilton County location, receive their second dose of that same vaccine.

“We don’t want to mix vaccines. If you came in and got Moderna for your first shot, we want to make sure you get Moderna for your second shot,” said Christian Walker, the public health preparedness coordinator at the Hamilton County Health Department. “It is safe if you get one of each, but it is not as effective as getting both – two doses of the same vaccine. So, we have put in numerous control measures from asking multiple times, to color-coding our lanes – things like that to help safeguard and ensure that the clients are getting the proper dose of the vaccine that they need at the right time.”

The Hamilton County Health Department will provide second doses of the Moderna vaccine through March 29.