This week we have a question from Gail Carlton. So first off, many thanks to Gail for both the question and putting your name on it. I think that means something, don’t you? Anyways, we’ve got a good question and a good response, so let me scoot out of the way.

Dear MAC,
Who is the responsible party involved with setting up, distributing, establishing guidelines, etc., for the COVID vaccinations in Montgomery County? The website: ourshot.in.gov doesn't supply that information. I, along with others, would be appreciative to have more detailed info for Montgomery County residents. Thank you.
Gail Carlton

MAC turned to Montgomery County Health Department Administrator Amber Reed for the answer. Without further ado, here’s Amber:
It’s a joint effort:?All local health departments in Indiana are reliant on guidance and direction from the Indiana Department of Health.  They (IDoH) are receiving their direction and guidance from the CDC.  The state has the responsibility of determining the best plan for distribution based on risk. The distribution plan for vaccine is determined at the state level based on what they receive.  Typically a population-based distribution.  The distribution of information is mainly done at the state level and once we are informed we push it out to our local residents.  We have found however that sometimes the media knows before we do, just the nature of the times we’re in at the moment. ?I pulled this from our FB post on January 10, 2021?Because the U.S. supply of the COVID-19 vaccine was expected to be limited at first, CDC provided recommendations to federal, state, and local governments about who should be vaccinated first. Direction for Indiana comes from the Indiana Department of Health.
The recommendations were made with these goals in mind:
Decrease death and serious disease as much as possible.
Preserve the functioning of society.
Reduce the extra burden COVID-19 is having on people already facing disparities.
There is no group that is more important or more critical than another however, there are groups that are more directly impacted and must be prioritized while we are still in a limited stage of vaccine availability.
Locally, the health departments establish and set up our own vaccination clinic locations.  The state provided some funding to do so as well as the scheduling platform which also documents the vaccination for each person.  They provide us with vaccine (we don’t know necessarily how much until it shows up.) With the vaccine comes additional ancillary items, like needles, alcohol, vaccine cards etc.  We staff our sites with vetted and credentialed vaccinators and amazing volunteers who have stepped up to help their community. ?We work within the limitations we have and we move forward every day, that’s all we can do for now, when the vaccine becomes more readily available we are ready willing and able to expand our vaccine clinic to meet the need. 
 
Let me offer Amber and all the folks at the health department a thank you – not just for the detailed response, but for all the work they have done in the most trying of circumstances. These folks are my heroes!
And thank you again Gail for the question!
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