Reid Health set to open new COVID-19 mass vaccination site
The Kuhlman Center on the Wayne County Fairgrounds has been set up to serve as a new COVID-19 mass vaccination center.
Jan. 18, 2021 -- Reid Health's new COVID-19 mass vaccination site will open Tuesday at the Kuhlman Center on the Wayne County Fairgrounds, expanding the health system's capacity for distributing the vaccine to the community.
Since mid-December, Reid has operated three clinics with one each in Richmond, Lynn and Connersville. The new site at the Kuhlman Center in Richmond replaces the previous one that had been operating out of the Medical Office Building on the main Reid campus.
"This will be a game-changer for us," said Thomas Huth, M.D., Vice President of Medical Affairs for Reid Health. "Our previous main vaccination site was limited in its capacity as to how many patients could be seen at any one time. With this new location, we will be able to vaccinate as many people as we can get vaccine for."
Operating hours at the Kuhlman Center (861 N. Salisbury Road) will be 7 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday. Once on site, patients will find directional signs and a phone number to call upon their arrival.
Initial setup includes the capability to vaccinate six patients at a time, but that can be expanded should the need arise in the future.
The Lynn and Connersville locations will remain open for a few more weeks to complete second doses of the vaccine for those who already have scheduled their visits. First-shot appointments no longer are available at those sites.
Consolidating Reid's efforts at one location isn't anticipated to impact the ease with which patients have been able to get their shots so far.
"Those who received their vaccinations at the three original sites have commented on how smoothly the process went, and we anticipate that won't change now that we are set up at the Kuhlman Center," said Billie Kester, Vice President for Continuum of Care for Reid Health.
Any Hoosier age 70 and older as well as healthcare workers and first responders are eligible to be vaccinated for free at this time. The Indiana State Department of Health plans to open vaccinations to more people as supplies from manufacturers become available.
Patients must schedule a visit through the state website, ourshot.in.gov, using either the Firefox or Chrome web browser. Those who need help to set up an appointment may call 211, and that staff can complete the necessary work over the phone.
After an appointment has been scheduled, patients will be sent a link to complete their registration. That information doesn't have to be filled out before arriving for their scheduled vaccination but doing so ahead of time will speed up the process.
"This will be a game-changer for us. ... With this new location, we will be able to vaccinate as many people as we can get vaccine for." -- Thomas Huth, M.D., Vice President of Medical Affairs
Only those who live or work in Indiana are eligible to be vaccinated at the Kuhlman Center. Ohio residents who don't work in Indiana should visit coronavirus.ohio.gov to learn more about how to get vaccinated in their home counties.
The Wayne County Health Department also is operating a vaccination clinic at the former Elder-Beerman building in downtown Richmond. Patients should be sure to note which site they're signing up for as they register and then go to that same location for their scheduled appointment.
Full vaccination requires two shots, with the second coming either 21 or 28 days after the first, depending on which manufacturer's vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna) a patient initially receives. A second appointment will be scheduled while waiting out a required 15-minute observation time during the first visit.
Also during that observation time, patients will be given information about v-safe, a phone app provided by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to track after-vaccination symptoms.
Some side effects such as headaches, fever and muscle pains have been reported during trials for the vaccines, mostly coming after the second of the two injections. It's normal for vaccines to cause such symptoms, which are a sign that the body is building immunity to the virus.
"The app is a good way to monitor for possible reactions that might occur later," Dr. Huth said. "It's a very simple process. It takes about 30 seconds to complete each day."
Those with questions about the COVID-19 vaccine can call Reid Health's hotline at 765-965-4200 Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. They also can visit the FAQ section of the Reid website.