Gary's 1st Mass Vaccination Site Opens Next Week

CBS 2's Jim Williams reports 100,000 are expected to get vaccinated in the Gary, Indiana area over two months.

Video Transcript

BRAD EDWARDS: In Indiana more than a million people now fully vaccinated. That's 20% of the population. But in Lake County, in Gary, that number drops to 12%. That's about to change when this school is transformed into a mass vaccination clinic. CBS 2's Jim Williams joins us now live. Jim, 100,000 people expected to get vaccinated in the Gary area over the next two months.

JIM WILLIAMS: Starting next week, Brad, and running through June 2nd, vaccinations at that one big location. People in Gary know it well. Plus, mobile units traveling to nearby communities.

This is the mass vaccination site, the former Roosevelt High School in Gary, set up by the federal government, expected to be up and running by April 7th, a week from Wednesday. Gary Mayor Jerome Prince.

JEROME PRINCE: I'll use one term, and I'd say we're pretty exuberant around here.

JIM WILLIAMS: Exuberant because between this location and mobile vaccination units traveling to nearby communities 3,000 people a day can get the shots in the Gary area.

JEROME PRINCE: This site within itself will be going for eight weeks. And it's pretty much every day for almost the entire day.

JIM WILLIAMS: Altogether 100,000 people are expected to get the vaccine here over those eight weeks.

MICAH POLLAK: I think it's extremely significant.

JIM WILLIAMS: As Indiana University Professor Michael Pollock tells us, Gary's vaccination rate has lagged behind the rest of Indiana. Pollack says a lot of ground can be made up in Gary quickly.

MICAH POLLAK: This one side alone could administer as many vaccines as we've administered since the beginning of the vaccine eligibility in just 10 days.

JIM WILLIAMS: Now Gary, the federal government, and the state of Indiana will try to convince skeptics in the community the vaccine is safe.

JEROME PRINCE: To not only encourage people to get vaccinated, but to let them know that they can do it right here in their own community.

JIM WILLIAMS: Registration opens this week. IU Health is offering free rides to vaccination appointments.

We're live. Jim Williams, CBS 2 News. Brad.