Vaccine rollout going well, vaccine supply problematic

JASPER/NEWTON Co. – As the vaccine rollout continues the pace isn’t exactly what officials are hoping for.

We spoke with the directors of both the Jasper and Newton County Health Departments. Tony Moehr on the Jasper County side says the vaccine process itself, has been smooth, but not without challenges. “It’s been going pretty well, I mean, I think, this vaccine as compared to others is a little more challenging in that trying to distance out people to try and get your social distancing as well as you can.”

Moehr’s counterpart, Larry Bergner, in Newton County, says their process has also been going smoothly, but there’s a problem. “We still have a supply problem,”

It’s that problem that’s causing issues getting everyone currently eligible vaccinated in a timely fashion. Bergner says “We’re hopeful that by summer we can have that group vaccinated, now, I’m telling folks that have registered with us that we hope to get to that group in the next month, month and a half.” Moehr agrees. “I agree with Larry, I believe, depending on supplies, it could take several months.

The Federal Government says that they plan to get more vaccine to pharmacies across the country which both agencies are hopeful will help increase the number of people vaccinated. Bergner says “Yes that is the hope, that more providers will be coming online and that the vaccine will be distributed more broadly so that we have more opportunity within each county and each city within the county for those folks to get vaccinated without having to drive a great distance.”

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