Margaret Mary Health (MMH) to administer vaccine and has been working diligently with the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) over the last several weeks, preparing to administer phase one of the COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan upon approval of the vaccine. The phase one individuals include all healthcare workers, with MMH specifically serving those living in Ripley, Franklin, Dearborn, Ohio and Switzerland counties.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) provided emergency use authorization for prevention of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) late last week. As a result, MMH will be receiving its first of several shipments of the vaccine from the ISDH tomorrow, Thursday, Dec. 17. MMH will begin administering vaccine on Friday, Dec. 18 in Versailles at the Tyson Activity Center and Saturday, Dec. 19, at the Batesville Fire Station. These clinic locations will operate from Dec. 18 through Jan. 23 by appointment only. At this time, due to the limited supply of the vaccine available, only people who received a link directly from their employers can register for vaccination. That includes hospital-based employees and long-term care staff. A medical ID will be required. The timeline for additional phases of vaccine administration, including the public, is yet to be determined.
The vaccine, which was found to be 95 percent effective in preventing COVID-19 disease among clinical trial participants, uses messenger RNA (mRNA) to stimulate an immune response against COVID-19. Unlike conventional vaccines, which often use a small amount of live virus or antigen to stimulate an immune response, mRNA vaccines communicate with the body’s cells in a way that directs the cell to produce proteins. The protein that is made is similar to one that is normally made by the virus during an infection. This allows the body’s immune system to be stimulated and respond in a way that is protective, without being exposed to the actual virus.