FISHERS, Ind. — One Indiana city is now preparing for the day COVID-19 vaccines are made available to more of the general public.
The city of Fishers wants to find out which residents are in high-risk groups and may soon become eligible to be vaccinated.
Fishers Public Health Director Monica Heltz would like to avoid the traffic jams, mayhem and confusion created by COVID vaccinations in some other states.
"We don't want to have long waiting lines and that we would have to turn people away," Heltz said.
The Fishers Health Department wants the city prepared for when the state gives the OK to start vaccinating larger groups of people. Heltz said they're trying to get ahead of the curve.
Residents are encouraged to complete an online survey and let the health department know if they are interested in being vaccinated.
Public health officials are collecting contact information and other details, like residents' age, race and health problems. The survey also asks if a resident is a frontline worker in a job, like a first responder or school teacher, that would put them at a higher risk of contracting the virus.
"As soon as we have vaccine and we are told we can vaccinate different populations, we want to have an easy way to call them up and say 'OK, you need to go online and sign up. Now is your turn," Heltz said.
State health officials are limiting vaccinations to those who are most at-risk. That's health care workers and nursing home residents. When more people become eligible, vaccines will still be in short supply. Fishers wants volunteers willing to be vaccinated on a moment’s notice.
There are 10 doses in each vial of the Moderna vaccine.
"Let's say we use nine doses, and we have one left. We have to have a way to get people who are on-call to come in and get those doses at the last minute," Heltz said.
The state's vaccination effort is by most accounts going well with no major problems. Health care providers are eager for more vaccine and more information from the state indicating when the program can expand to include more people.