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Marion County health officials: ‘We just encourage people to get their shots’

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — As the coronavirus rages on, local officials are trying to get as many vaccine shots in people’s arms as possible.

Johnny Smith got his Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine Friday. “I feel like I might be protected better. I needed it. I’m just now finding it convenient for me. So, this is a blessing. I’m going to use it.”

The Marion County Public Health Department in partnership with IndyGo bus service on Friday offered the first of several vaccine clinics. A mobile vaccine clinic was parked inside the Julia M. Carson Transit Center in downtown Indy. They administered 31 vaccine doses Friday.

Carrie Black, a spokesperson for IndyGo, said, “By having a vaccine clinic here at the Julia M. Carson Transit Center, it’s the perfect place where people are coming and going. Riders who otherwise may not be able to get to a clinic can pause during their trip, get their vaccination, and then keep going.”

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns unvaccinated people to not travel this Labor Day weekend. They say even vaccinated people should consider COVID-19 risks. As of Friday, according to CDC data, every state in the nation, including Indiana, is at a high level of community transmission of COVID-19.

Virgil Maddenwith the Marion County Public Health Department said he’s been told by Dr. Virginia Caine, head of the department “that this is the most contagious of them all. So, it’s critical obviously to wear the mask, stay masked up. It’s more critical to be vaccinated because the delta variant spreads more rapidly, more quickly.”

Concern about the delta variant is why Brian Pinner got his Johnson & Johnson vaccine at the mobile clinic. “I got one to protect myself and other people that I love and care about. This is my community.”

People also got the jab at a vaccine clinic Friday on 33rd Street.

Officials want to vaccinate as many people as possible. “We just encourage people to get their shots. If you don’t want to get it for yourself, get it for your family, get it for the students going to school,” Madden said.

For anyone on the fence about the jab or who hasn’t gotten it yet, Pinner said, “Don’t be hesitant. Just do it.”

The mobile vaccine clinic will be at the transit center every Wednesday in September from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., and every person who gets vaccinated will get a free 31-day bus pass.

There will also be a clinic starting at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Indy Labor Fest on Monument Circle.

According to the Marion County Health Department, people with unanswered questions or concerns about the vaccine can call the department at 317-221-2000 or visit cdc.gov/coronavirus or ourshot.in.gov.

Currently, 2,443 Hoosiers are hospitalized with COVID-19.

A total of 12,450,587 tests have been administered to 3,960,242 Hoosiers.

ISDH says 6,259,795 vaccination doses have been administered to Hoosiers, and 3,119,002 Hoosiers are fully vaccinated.

According to the Regenstrief Institute, 770,198 Hoosiers are estimated to have recovered from the virus.

According to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University, there have been more than 219,254,000 confirmed cases worldwide, with more than 4,545,000 deaths.

More information, including interactive graphics, can be found here.

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