INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Independence Day is less than two weeks away, and if Marion County wants to declare independence from COVID-19 restrictions, more people need to get vaccinated.
That’s the word from the Marion County Public Health Department.
Reaching that goal requires getting more COVID-19 vaccines in arms. The Black Firefighter’s Association, 1201 E. 46th St., is one place where you could do that at a pop-up clinic on Wednesday.
The state’s vaccination dashboard on Monday said 47.4% of Marion County residents 12 and older are fully vaccinated.
“We are in a race,” Dr. Virginia Caine, director of the health department, told News 8.
Van Tlig, 19, got his COVID-19 vaccine Monday.
“It feels great,” Tling said. “It feels like I can go out again, enjoy life again.”
- COVID-19 vaccinations in Indiana: Get details and sign up
- Indiana coronavirus resources and timeline of events
- More coronavirus coverage from WISH-TV
The arrival of COVID-19 variants is only adding more urgency.
“We do have this new Delta variant out there that is 40% more contagious than our current COVID-19 strain,” Caine said. “So we’re really trying to push getting as many people vaccinated as we can so we don’t have any super-spreader events.”
The health department is now offering incentives. Now through July 2, any Marion County resident who gets vaccinated at a health department pop-up clinic is entered to win several prizes.
- A package of two Indianapolis Colts Season tickets with a signed Peyton Manning rookie jersey.
- Two Half-Season Indiana Pacers ticket packages, each also including a signed Domantas Sabonis 2020 All Star jersey.
- Indianapolis Indians clubhouse tickets and a jersey.
- Tickets to the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis.
- A gift basket from the Indianapolis Zoo that includes a free membership
- Fun cards for pool admission at Indy Parks.
The health department will recommend fully reopening the community to the City-County Council only when Marion County reaches 50% of residents fully vaccinated, as well as less than 100 new COVID cases a day. They hope to reach that goal by July 4.
“I just honestly don’t know,” Caine said. “I’m very hopeful that we will reach our goal of at least 80% protective immunity in our community.”
Caine defines “protective immunity” as the percentage of Marion County citizens who are either fully vaccinated or had COVID-19.
Tlig isn’t optimistic the county will reach its goal.
“I don’t think we will. There’s still like a lot of people that are skeptical about the vaccine, so I doubt it,” Tling said.
Caine encourages everyone to get vaccinated if they haven’t already. The Marion County Public Health Department has a list of upcoming pop-up COVID-19 vaccination clinics.
To register for a COVID-19 vaccine, click here or call 211 to get started.
If you have questions about the COVID-19 vaccine, click here.
WISH-TV’s Vaccine Central page also has a host of information.