Plenty of vaccine appointments open at FEMA site in Gary as Illinois residents flock to it

Coronavirus

GARY, Ind. — The federal vaccine site in Gary is seeing a lot more than just Hoosiers being vaccinated.

Local health officials reported that around 40% who have been vaccinated are from Illinois.

“We know we’re going to see people come for Chicago. Look, we’re a 30-minutes drive away from a million people,” Gary Health Commissioner Dr. Roland Walker said.

The FEMA-operated site opened last Wednesday with the goal to vaccinate 2,000 people per day over eight weeks.

“Today, we’ve had about 1,600 people register,” Walker said. “There are still appointments available online today.”

As of Monday night, there are several appointment times open and and every day.

With vaccines hard to come in the Chicago area, some are choosing to drive to the Gary site.

Local health officials having continued to work in the area to encourage more Hoosiers to sign up.

“The mobile units allow us to go to churches, community centers, and address those hesitancies one-on-one with people,” Walker said. “The the goal is to take the vaccine where the people are and hopefully we can alleviate some of those fears.”

The site is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and they are administering the Pfizer vaccine. For the last two weeks, they will switch to the Johnson and Johnson vaccine.

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