INDIANAPOLIS — New Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) vaccine guidelines are pushing states to quickly vaccinate anyone older than 65 years old. The new recommendations come as Indiana begins vaccinating Hoosiers who are at least 80 years old.
“I think it’s going to be challenging for most states, including Indiana, to go ahead and adopt those recommendations,” said Brian Dixon, director of Public Health Informatics at the Regenstrief Institute.
The Indiana State Health Department says they have no plans to shift gears just yet. They say all 520,000 doses of the vaccine have been spoken for and scheduled. Shifting to vaccinate more Hoosiers could become a tax on health care workers administering the vaccine, as well as the supply itself. While Indiana may not be changing course, Dixon believes the guidelines could help other states.
“In some parts of the U.S., there has been hesitancy to sign up for the vaccines. So let’s say that a particular state can vaccinate 1,000 people per day, but only 800 people are signing up. I think these new guidelines give those states the ability to then sign up those 200 available slots,” Dixon gave as an example.
On Monday, Operation Warp Speed announced they will be sending out millions of doses that were on reserve. The stock had been saved for people who are trying to get their second booster shot that comes roughly 21 days after the first.
“The efficacy of the single dose is not nearly as great as a second dose. Presumably within the next two weeks we will see individuals in the long term care facilities coming in to get their second dose. By the end of the month, there will be a higher demand for people coming to get the vaccine, be that a second dose, or their first dose as we begin to scale up,” said Dixon.
“I think the problem with opening it up is, we don’t have a guaranteed supply in the next couple of months when you would need to do those booster shots. It’s possible that even if people couldn’t get the second dose exactly at three weeks or four weeks from their first dose, that they could get it a a little bit later and be protected.”