Boone County narrows choices for potential additional vaccination sites

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Boone County Health Dept. Emergency Preparedness Coordinator Tom Ryan said the county has identified two potential vaccination sites in Lebanon, another at Traders Point Christian Church, while another still may be considered for the west side of the county.

But Ryan said, as of press time, the BCHD likely would not have enough staff or volunteers to operate all of the proposed sites, and the department had yet to determine how many additional vaccination sites it would try open in the future. Department officials believe they will need more vaccination sites to inoculate the expected increase in residents wanting a vaccine once state officials grant eligibility to younger age groups.

Currently, the BCHD operates a vaccination clinic at the Boone County 4-H Fairgrounds, and Witham Health Services is also vaccinating all eligible Hoosiers.

“It would be nice to have at least another site in Lebanon,” Ryan said. “It would be nice to have another site toward the south of the county, as well. Now, if we had to make a choice, we have two sites in Lebanon already. If we were looking specifically at staffing, what would make the most sense, let’s get one toward the bottom of the county to have that third site.”

The county is also waiting for more information regarding a potential state-sponsored mobile vaccination site in Boone County. Ryan said state officials would determine whether a mobile clinic would be established in the county based on the success of other state-sponsored vaccination clinics. He said the mobile clinic, described as a pop-up site, would operate “for one or two, or however many, days and pop out.” Ryan predicted that if the mobile site was established and proved successful, it might be utilized again at future dates. Currently, county officials are proactively working to identify a location for a potential mobile site.

“There’s a lot of locations in play,” Ryan said. “What we are trying to figure out – working with the state – is who is ultimately responsible (for the county’s next vaccination site). Would it fall under the health department? Would it fall under the state? Would it fall under one of the fire departments if one of them wanted to step up? So we are just trying to figure out those answers.”

Another question the department is seeking clarification on is whether additional county vaccination sites equate to larger COVID-19 vaccine allotments. Ryan said it was unclear whether the county would receive more vaccines in addition to its current allotment from the state to account for additional vaccine clinics. A request to the Indiana Dept. of Health for clarification on the matter was still pending, as of press time.

County officials are also considering using property used by the Boone County Sheriff’s Office as another COVID-19 testing site.


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