GARY, Ind. (WISH) — On Wednesday, the former Roosevelt High School in Gary will become a new community vaccination center.
The goal is to make sure all Hoosiers are able to get vaccinated.
“Gary is absolutely the right place to hold this massive eight-week vaccination event,” Gary Deputy Mayor Trent McCain said.
The clinic is a collaboration between the Biden administration and the state of Indiana. The site will administer 2,000 shots per day and will operate seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Another 1,000 shots a day will be available through mobile vaccine units. That’s an estimated 21,000 shots a week.
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“We’re not going to fly over any neighborhood, any family in need,” Gov. Eric Holcomb, a Republican, said. “We want to make sure folks have the information and the access.”
On Tuesday, state and federal officials gathered at the high school to celebrate the new clinic. They say it’s critical that people of color get the support they need.
“I am just trying to be the pied piper for those most hit, for those Black, brown, for those socially vulnerable folks this pandemic has hit so hard to say we have to get the vaccine,” said Kevin Sly, acting regional administrator for Federal Emergency Management Agency Region 5.
According to Sly, the site was identified using a range of criteria including, “local input and public health data such as the CDC social vulnerability index, other census data, and localized considerations such as the existing deployment of resources and feedback from public health experts.”
“What this represents about everyone coming together and making sure what we’re doing is truly by definition equitable,” Holcomb said.
During the first six weeks, the site will offer doses of the Pfizer vaccine. In the final weeks, it will offer the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
To help people who aren’t able to get to Gary, IU Health says they’re offering free rides to any vaccination site in the state. To schedule transportation through IU Health, call 1-888-IUHEALTH (1-888-484-3258). There will also be bilingual staff at the clinic.
More than 100,000 Hoosiers are expected to be vaccinated. Any Hoosier who is eligible can be vaccinated at the clinic, but focus will be placed on ensuring that high-risk and underserved citizens in northwestern Indiana have easy access to appointments.
To register, go to https://ourshot.in.gov and click on the “find a vaccination site” link. Then go to Lake County and click on the “FEMA Gary Roosevelt Park VAX” link and make an appointment by filling out the information on the screen.