CROWN POINT — The Lake County Health Department will begin distributing a limited number of COVID-19 immunizations at the Lake County Fairgrounds Wednesday to eligible individuals who make an appointment online at ourshot.in.gov or by calling 211.
The fairgrounds site is the eighth COVID-19 vaccine distribution location in Lake County, including hospitals in Crown Point (two), Gary, Merrillville and Munster, and the city health departments in East Chicago and Gary.
Currently, only health care workers, first responders, long-term care facility residents and staff, and individuals age 80 and up are eligible to receive the vaccine, due to the limited supply of doses the state receives on a weekly basis from the federal government.
For example, Dr. Chandana Vavilala, the Lake County health officer, said the fairgrounds site only will be able to inject 600 to 800 individuals with the COVID-19 vaccine each week.
She said when the supply increases, she hopes to open additional immunization sites at Wicker Memorial Park in Highland and Purdue University Northwest in Hammond.
"If we had a massive amount of vaccination available, I'm sure we would be more than happy to invite everyone. But that's not the case at this point in time," Vavilala said.
Members of the Lake County Council told Vavilala Tuesday they're prepared to use the county's share of federal CARES Act funds to help her stand up additional vaccine sites when appropriate.