Health Dept. issues vaccine reminder

MARSHALL CO. — Although vaccine eligibility requirements changed in February of this year, Marshall County Health Department nurse Susan Lechlitner said some county residents are not aware of the change.
“Our phones have just started to ring for school because parents are realizing that it’s August already,” said Lechlitner.
Lechlitner and her staff have had to turn away several people because they no longer qualify for vaccinations at the health department due to the new requirements.
“People are very disappointed that they can’t get their (shots) here because they have come here in the past,” said Lechlitner.
If an individual’s insurance covers vaccinations — partly or fully — they are not eligible to get vaccinated at their local health department and must instead contact a private medical provider. Circumstances in which the health department can vaccinate include the following:
• If an individual’s insurance cap has been met;
• If an individual’s insurance does not cover vaccinations;
• If an individual’s children are covered by Medicaid;
• If an individual is uninsured; and
• If an individual is a Native American or Alaskan Native.
Beginning in February, the Marshall County Health Department also began charging $8 per shot with a $50 cap per family.
Lechlitner said that most private medical practices in Marshall County do offer vaccinations, but a handful do not due to not having a large pediatric patient base or other issues. When people call the health department and are not eligible to receive a vaccination, Lechlitner said she refers them to Elkhart or St. Joseph County health departments, both of which have private vaccines that they are able to sell to people with insurance coverage.
Lechlitner also might refer callers to Walgreens in Plymouth since the pharmacy there also offers vaccinations.
Currently, the Marshall County Health Department is doing vaccinations for those eligible each Monday and Tuesday, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. At the Bremen clinic (next to CVS) vaccinations are done on the second Monday of the month, also from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
“If people have questions, they can call and we will try to answer them,” said Lechlitner, adding, “Basically (the vaccinations through the health department) are for Medicaid and uninsured patients.”
With questions, contact the Marshall County Health Department at 574-935-8565.