Vaccine Central

Dr. Caine ‘hopeful’ Marion County reaches 50% vaccination goal by July 4

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.”

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.

Prizes include:

  • 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.

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