Local vaccine clinics shift operations as need changes

Johnson Memorial Health in Franklin is closing its COVID-19 vaccination clinic after Friday. Scott Roberson | Daily Journal
Johnson Memorial Hospital in Franklin is closing its COVID-19 vaccination clinic after Friday. Scott Roberson | Daily Journal

Local vaccine clinics are shifting their distribution models as fewer people seek COVID-19 vaccinations.

Both Johnson Memorial Health and Franciscan Health Indianapolis are closing their hospital vaccine clinics this week and making vaccines available at doctor’s offices. Community Hospital South will continue to offer vaccines at the Community South Annex, just west of the hospital.

Johnson Memorial Hospital will give its last vaccines Friday, while Franciscan gave its last vaccines Wednesday. Both health systems request that patients make an appointment with their primary care provider’s office to receive a vaccine moving forward.

Some walk-ins might be accepted at Johnson Memorial’s doctor’s offices, but that will depend on staff availability, said Dr. David Dunkle, president and CEO. With low vaccine demand and staffing shortages, additional staff won’t be brought in to give vaccines at doctor’s offices, he said.

At both Johnson Memorial and the Johnson County Health Department’s clinic at Compass Park, vaccine demand remained low last month.

The Compass Park vaccine clinic gives between 60 and 75 shots per week, mostly via appointment, though a few walk-ins come by each day, said Jaycie Blanford, the health department’s vaccine clinic manager.

Demand for tests is low right now across the county, too.

On Tuesday, the health department gave no new tests, the first day since the clinic opened that none were given, said Betsy Swearingen, health department director.

At the Compass Park clinic, the health department is consolidating its vaccine and COVID-19 testing clinics into a single room at the event center instead of all three. Compass Park will resume events while still giving the health department enough space to meet its demand levels for vaccines and tests, Swearingen said.

The health department clinic is also changing its hours. Moving forward, it will be open Monday to Friday and one Saturday a month, she said. The clinic will be open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on all business days but Wednesday, when the clinic will be open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Vaccines are also available at most major pharmacies in Johnson County, including CVS, Kroger, Meijer and Walmart, as well as at three Walgreens locations, Adult and Child Health in Franklin and Windrose Health in Edinburgh.

Oregon resident Margaret Clasen receives her second dose of the coronavirus vaccine on Tuesday at Johnson Memorial Health in Franklin. Scott Roberson | Daily Journal
Oregon resident Margaret Clasen receives her second dose of the coronavirus vaccine on Tuesday at Johnson Memorial Hospital in Franklin. Scott Roberson | Daily Journal

Vaccine numbers are slowly creeping up across the county, but are not on par with what public health officials would like to see, they said.

About 52% of eligible county residents are vaccinated, according to the Indiana Department of Health. Two areas of the county are at or near the threshold for herd immunity, but several others trail behind.

Needham, the first area of the county to reach what some experts are calling herd immunity, now has a 74% vaccination rate. Bargersville — with 69.5% — is on the cusp of herd immunity, IDH data shows.

More than 60% of residents in both of Greenwood’s zip codes are fully vaccinated, data shows.

Franklin and communities in southern Johnson County have lower rates, but are inching forward. Franklin leads the pack at 47%, while the Nineveh and Trafalgar zip codes are both at 44%, according to IDH data.

Edinburgh brings up the rear with 37% fully vaccinated, data shows.

To help close the gap, several pop-up vaccine clinics have been offered recently at Johnson County Public Library branches in collaboration from Windrose Health.

Windrose is also planning two vaccine clinics July 8 in Edinburgh. One clinic will be held from 8 a.m. to noon at Driftside Mobile Home Community, and another from 1 to 4 p.m. at the McDonald’s at Indiana Premium Outlets.

With vaccines lagging behind expectations, and a newer, highly contagious Delta variant spreading across the United States, Dunkle continues to encourage county residents to remain vigilant, especially if they are unvaccinated. With mask requirements removed, there is a higher risk of transmitting a virus that is growing more contagious with each new strain, he said.

“I have this fear that we have a false sense of security,” Dunkle said. “As we get into winter and are indoors again, there is bound to be another uptick if we don’t get more people vaccinated.”

Data on breakthrough cases reported to IDH shows that few who get the vaccine are becoming sick with COVID-19, and if they do, the illness is typically mild.

Out of the more than 2.7 million Hoosiers who are fully vaccinated, just 2,396 have tested positive, a rate of less than 1%. Of the 2,396 breakthrough cases, 117 have had to be hospitalized for treatment, and 41 have died.

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Here is a look at where those 12 and older can get a vaccine:

Register for the following sites online at ourshot.in.gov, by calling 211 or any Johnson County Public Library branch:

Compass Park

When: Monday to Friday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturdays 8 a.m. to noon.

Where: Event Center, 690 State Street, Franklin.

Type: Moderna, limited doses of Pfizer.

Walk-in: Available

Adult and Child Health Franklin

When: Vaccines available on Fridays.

Where: 1860 Northwood Plaza, Franklin

Type: Moderna.

Walk-in: Available

Windrose Health Edinburgh

When: Vaccines available 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday and Friday.

Where: 911 E. Main Cross Street, Edinburgh

Type: Multiple.

Walk-in: Available

Community Health Annex South

When: Vaccines available Monday to Friday 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Where: 1346 East County Line Road, Indianapolis. Drive-thru clinic.

Type: Pfizer.

Walk-in: Available

Walmart and Sam’s Club Pharmacies

Where: All Walmart stores in Johnson County; Sams Club at 1101 Windhorst Way, Greenwood.

Type: Federal Retail Pharmacy, type may vary.

Appointments for the following sites are made with the pharmacy, vaccine type may vary:

Kroger Pharmacies

Where: All Kroger stores in Johnson County.

Registration: kroger.com/rx/covid-eligibility or call 866-211-5320, walk-in available

Meijer Pharmacies

Where: 2390 N Morton St, Franklin; 150 S Marlin Dr, Greenwood.

Registration: Text COVID to 75049, visit clinic.meijer.com/register.

Walgreens Pharmacies

Where: All Walgreens locations in Johnson County.

Registration: walgreens.com/findcare/vaccination/covid-19

CVS Pharmacies

Where: All CVS locations in Johnson County.

Registration: cvs.com/vaccine/intake/store/covid-screener/covid-qns

Costco Pharmacy

Where: 4628 E. County Line Rd, Indianapolis.

Registration: costco.com/covid-vaccine.html

Source: Indiana Department of Health