Are clinics ready with vaccine eligibility expanded in Indiana?

Coronavirus

INDIANAPOLIS — Right now, Hoosiers over the age of 60 can schedule their first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

The state opened eligibility Tuesday morning and thousands of Hoosiers have been racing to make appointments. The Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) says nearly 91,000 Hoosiers ages 60-64 scheduled COVID-19 vaccination appointments within the first eight hours of their eligibility.

ISDH confirms an 8.4% increase in their weekly allotment of doses for both the Pfizer and Moderna versions. Those additional doses are expected to cover first and second doses of those Hoosiers ages 60 and older as we wait for the approval of Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine.

“The state is doing a really good job of just opening up enough of the age group to not overwhelm the clinics with too much demand,” said Kristen Kelley, IU Health director of infection prevention.

That has been a great help as clinics work to vaccinate vulnerable Hoosiers. Some of those Hoosiers will be going to the Johnson County Health Department and other locations later this week.

“We’ve had a few that have registered today and are getting in this week based on some cancelations,” said Betsy Swearingen, director of the Johnson County Health Department.

Johnson County is averaging about 480 people a day with more than 2,000 shots a week.

The Methodist Neuroscience Center at IU Health is one of the biggest vaccination sites in Marion County. They average 1,200 shots per day which is their max. They’ve also just hit a milestone.

“At our clinic alone we have vaccinated over 50,000 people so we just surpassed that mark, that’s in about 8 weeks,” said Kelley.

Vaccination clinics say they feel prepared due to the partnership they have with the state health department providing them with a lifeline in this fight.

“Our partnership with the Indiana State Department of Health has worked pretty seamlessly and flawlessly. And when we need vaccine, if we are running low, we reach out to our partners at the state and they do their very best to get us what we need,” said Swearingen.

ISDH also suggests checking clinics outside of your county as continue to make appointments available. Hoosiers ages 60 and older can schedule and appointment by going to this website or calling 211.

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