Marion County aims to make vaccination more accessible by moving mobile vaccine clinic

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INDIANAPOLIS — The Marion County Public Health Department’s mobile vaccine unit now has a new place to call home for the month of September — IndyGo’s Julia Carson Transit Center.

“Sometimes it’s just opportunity,” said Carrie Black, a spokesperson with IndyGo. “People are so busy working and taking care of their families — it’s not always a case of they don’t want to get vaccinated, they just haven’t had the time or the opportunity.”

It’s an issue both IndyGo and the Marion County Public Health Department hope to address by bringing vaccines directly to Hoosiers with busy schedules.

“We are taking that word, ‘non-accessible,’ away,” said Virgil Madden, MCPHD’s Incident Commander and coordinator of mobile vaccine units. “We are making the vaccines accessible. Dr. Caine is adamant that we need to be where the people are, we need to make sure we’re serving all the people.”

Madden said within the first four hours of Friday’s clinic, “more than 30” Hoosiers rolled up their sleeves to get vaccinated.

“It feels much better now that I know I’m protected. I can protect them,” said Indy resident Katrina Hardin pointing to her three children under the age of 10. “I work in home healthcare and I don’t want to get my kids sick coming back and forth.”

Hardin said she was taking a walk downtown when she stumbled upon the mobile clinic and decided to get her single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

“Everyone comes down here, so this is a good spot for the setup,” said Hardin.

The clinic will be located at the transit center every Wednesday throughout the month of September, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and every Hoosier who rolls up their sleeve will be offered a free 31-day IndyGo bus pass.

“For people who rely on transit, to be able to get a month’s worth of bus travel for free is a really big deal,” said Black. “So, we really feel like we’ve hit the jackpot, not only with the location but with the inventive.”

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