Gov. Holcomb, FEMA announce mass vaccination on the grounds of Roosevelt High School

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Roosevelt High School
Roosevelt High School

Indiana Governor Eric J. Holcomb, together with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), announced that an eight-week mass vaccination clinic with the capacity to administer 3,000 COVID-19 vaccines a day will open in Gary in early April.

The clinic will run from April 7 to June 2 at the site of the former Roosevelt High School, 730 W. 25th Ave., Gary. The location was recommended by Indiana and selected by FEMA based on its proximity to a large number of Indiana’s high-risk citizens and medically underserved populations.

“By opening this mass vaccination clinic in Gary, more Hoosiers will have convenient access to this life-saving vaccine in their own backyard,” Gov. Holcomb said. “We are grateful that our federal partners selected Gary in this next phase of the roll-out process, and I want to encourage every Hoosier to sign up for a vaccine so that they can protect themselves and those they love.”

“The Gary Community School Corporation is honored to be a partner in an initiative that we know will save lives,” said GCSC Manager Dr. Paige McNulty. “Roosevelt is centrally located in the city and has the capacity to accommodate a large amount of drive-up traffic. It is indeed a great use of the space.”

Congressman Mrvan stated, “This is outstanding news for the City of Gary and our fight to defeat this health pandemic and revitalize our regional economy. I am grateful to the Biden/Harris Administration and Governor Holcomb for recognizing the value of leading COVID-19 vaccination efforts at Roosevelt High School and through mobile units that will assist those with transportation limitations. I also commend Mayor Prince for his leadership and the confidence he enabled in federal and state administrations to locate a FEMA vaccination site in the City of Gary. I will continue to do all I can to support efforts to get shots in arms and promote the health and vitality of our region.”

Gary Mayor Jerome Prince stated, “We’re excited by the prospect of working with Congressman Frank J. Mrvan to bring this generous vaccination program to the City of Gary. This will be a game-changer as we continue to fight this historic pandemic. We thank Congressman Mrvan, the State of Indiana, our federal partners and the Gary Community School Corp, which is generously providing space at the historic Roosevelt High School, for joining us in our campaign to defeat this public health crisis.”

A total of 2,000 vaccine doses per day will be administered at the Gary location. An additional 1,000 doses per day will be allocated to mobile units that will host clinics in underserved communities throughout northern Indiana. More than 100,000 Hoosiers are expected to be vaccinated. The area is home to high percentages of Black and Hispanic residents, who have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.

The doses are in addition to Indiana’s regular statewide vaccine allotment, which is distributed to more than 500 vaccine clinics around the state.

The Gary clinic will be a drive-thru operation but will be accessible to those who come by bus or other modes of transportation.

The Roosevelt High School vaccination clinic will operate from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. CDT seven days a week and will offer first doses of the Pfizer vaccine during the first three weeks of operation. Hoosiers vaccinated during that timeframe will be guaranteed a second dose during the fourth, fifth, and sixth weeks of the clinic. The single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be administered the final two weeks of the operation.

Operational hours and locations for the mobile units are still being finalized.

Any Hoosier who is eligible can be vaccinated at the clinic, but focus will be placed on ensuring that high-risk and underserved citizens in northwestern Indiana have easy access to appointments. For current eligibility requirements, visit https://ourshot.in.gov. Registration for the mass vaccination and mobile sites is expected to open later this week, and notification will be provided.

The Indiana Department of Health, Indiana National Guard, and the Department of Defense will manage the Gary vaccination site with support from FEMA, the Indiana Department of Homeland Security, the City of Gary, and the Lake County Emergency Management Agency.

“We’re proud to work with the whole federal family, the state of Indiana, and locally in Lake County to include the cities of Gary, Hammond and East Chicago to expand and expedite vaccine to the most underserved and vulnerable populations,” said Kevin M. Sligh, acting regional administrator, FEMA Region 5. “This site will provide 3,000 doses a day of the COVID-19 vaccine, both onsite and via mobile units, to individuals in historically underserved communities, a significant step toward ending the pandemic for Hoosiers and the nation.”

To help those who may have difficulty getting transportation to the Gary location, IU Health is offering free rides to any vaccination site in the state through a partnership with Lyft. Additional transportation options will be provided. Language interpretation and assistance for those with hearing or vision impairments also will be available on site.

For more information about Indiana’s vaccination efforts, visit https://ourshot.in.gov.

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