LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — IU Health Arnett remains on schedule as it continues to roll out the COVID-19 vaccine. But that's in stark contrast to hospitals nationwide experiencing high demand and long lines.
IU Health Arnett is not wasting a single dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, says Chief Medical Officer Dr. James Bien.
"It's treated like liquid gold, right?" he says. "It's life-saving. If we're wasting a dose, that's an opportunity to protect somebody and also anybody that might be exposed to them."
The hospital has vaccinated 4,500 frontline medical workers and emergency responders as of Tuesday.
But the nationwide rollout remains behind schedule and far short of 20-million-dose goal by the end of the year. Meanwhile long lines are forming at hospitals in other states as demand continues to soar, according to CBS News.
"We are doing a really good job distributing what has been sent to us and not some of the worrisome challenges that we're hearing about in the media from other communities and other hospitals."
The process has been smooth for health care workers in Tippecanoe County.
"I just signed up and it was pretty easy I got in the next day actually," says Holly Ziegler, a staff member at a local orthodontist.
Ziegler says she was in and out of the vaccine clinic within 30 minutes.
"I think everyone should get vaccinated to help everybody out in the community," she says. "We've been doing really well in this community, I think, of being safe so I think it's a really good idea."
Staffing could be a limiting factor as more people become eligible for the vaccine and more vaccination sites go online. Bien says the hospital is leaning on volunteers to keep up with the high demand.
"It takes a lot of people not just to coordinate and keep track and schedule but also people to administer and then monitor and observe for the 15 minutes following vaccines," he says.
The Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines are administered in two doses several weeks apart. Bien says the second round of vaccinations begins Wednesday.