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Indiana opens up the COVID-19 vaccine to those age 60 to 64

Published: Feb. 23, 2021 at 9:17 AM EST
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - As the COVID-19 vaccine expands to the 60 & older age group in Indiana on Tuesday, local health officials, like St. Joseph County Health Officer Dr. Mark Fox, are hoping to expand the vaccine to more people in their respective counties.

“We would like to see a more rapid pace, especially because we feel like we have excess capacity that we could expand our capacity here in St. Joseph County,” Fox says.

However, on the same day Indiana expands the vaccine to those 60 & older, it is taking away the option to get vaccinated for those who only work, but do not live in Indiana.

“That’s going to be disappointing news to a lot of folks that spend money in our town, work in our town, but they live across the border.”

So far, Fox says 47 percent of Hoosiers 65 and older have received the vaccine or are scheduled to. And even though there’s a ways to go in that age group, Fox says expanding down to 60 years and old is exactly what the state needs.

“We have seen a decrease in cases, in deaths, in the nursing home population. Nationally and even here within the state, we are seeing the benefits of that vaccine effort,” Fox says.

It is an effort that is now shifting focus to the 60 and older age group that holds more than 22 percent of the state’s population, 64 percent COVID-19 hospitalizations and over 93 percent of COVID-19 deaths. But as Dr. Fox explains, it’s a direction local health officials are pushing towards.

“We are certainly hoping moving forward as more vaccines become available, that we will have the opportunity to test that theory and expand capacity to get more people vaccinated,” Fox says.

The Indiana State Department of Health says additional groups will be added as more vaccines become available.

To register or schedule for a vaccine, click here.

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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - State health officials say Indiana residents age 60 to 64 are now eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine in the latest expansion of the state’s vaccine rollout.

The Indiana Department of Health said Tuesday the expansion makes the free shots available to another 432,000 Hoosiers.

Indiana’s vaccine eligibility pool had previously included Hoosiers age 65 and older, health care workers, long-term care residents and first responders.

Vaccine appointments for the age 60 to 64 group will be available over the next four to six weeks.

To schedule a vaccine, Hoosiers can visit https://ourshot.in.gov and select a location from one of more than 370 clinics around Indiana.

(Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.)

From the Indiana Department of Health:

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Department of Health announced today that Hoosiers age 60 and older are now eligible to receive a free COVID-19 vaccine. This expansion of eligibility makes the vaccine available to an additional 432,000 Hoosiers.

Due to limited vaccine supplies nationally, Indiana has prioritized healthcare workers, first responders and those who are most vulnerable in its vaccine rollout. Individuals age 60 and older account for more than 22 percent of the state’s population but 64 percent of the COVID-19 hospitalizations and 93.3 percent of the deaths.

Additional groups will be added as more vaccine becomes available.

Vaccine appointments for this newly eligible population will be available over the next four to six weeks to align with the state receiving its expected weekly vaccine allocation. Hoosiers who cannot find an appointment at the nearest location are encouraged to look at other sites in neighboring counties. Appointments are being added regularly as vaccine supplies permit.

To schedule a vaccine, visit https://ourshot.in.gov and select a location from one of more than 370 clinics around the state. Hoosiers who do not have a computer or cell phone or those who need assistance scheduling an appointment can call 211 or contact one of Indiana’s Area Agencies on Aging or AARP. Nearly 70 libraries around the state also are helping Hoosiers schedule their appointments.

Vaccination clinics that are part of the federal vaccine program, including those at Walmart, Sam’s Club and Kroger, appear on the clinic map at https://ourshot.in.gov but are scheduled through those retailers’ platforms, not through the state centralized system.

To date, more than 60 percent of eligible Hoosiers have scheduled an appointment to be vaccinated against COVID-19. As of Monday, 893,246 Hoosiers have received a first dose of vaccine, and 440,028 are fully vaccinated.

Copyright 2021 WNDU. All rights reserved.