COVID-19 vaccine standby lists, what to know

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INDIANAPOLIS — More and more Hoosiers are becoming eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations. It’s a race to get vaccinated no matter how young or how old.

But there are also several Hoosiers getting shots who may not be eligible under state requirements. That’s because of standby and waiting lists being generated at hospitals and clinics.

There are two sides to this but technically none of these clinics are in the wrong. On one hand, the state wants these clinics to have standby and waiting lists to make sure no doses are wasted. On the other hand, they want those lists only to include those who are eligible.

“Be patient, we’re all waiting with you. We all want everyone to be vaccinated right now. We are having to stick with the eligibility requirements laid out by the state department of health,” said Fishers Health Department, Public Health Director, Monica Heltz.

Along with those requirements, the state has asked clinics to create standby and waiting lists to ensure all doses are used at the end of the day. And we’ve learned who’s eligible for those list changes by location.

In Fishers, the health department has a vaccine interest survey. Anyone can sign up online here, but that doesn’t mean you’ll get a shot.

“As far as the standby list goes right now, we are using current eligibility criteria as we’re going through the standby list,” said Heltz.

So those who are 60 and older right now. And if no one in that group answers the phone…

“We would go to the next risk group down. So, we would go to those with medical risk conditions as the state has laid out,” said Heltz.

In Boone County, on their residents who meet the state’s requirements are eligible. They have to call (765)482-3942, choose option 7, and provide name, address, date of birth, phone number, information on severe health conditions, and how long it would take them to drive from where they usually are to Lebanon.

Johnson County is a bit different. If there are leftover doses, health officials start at the top of the list and work their way down regardless of eligibility. Those who would like to sign up can call (317)346-4365 and provide their name, date of birth, and phone number.

Outside of health departments, Meijer pharmacies started vaccinations this week, complete with a waitlist.

“If folks are eligible and they’re in a category and they’re in the age bracket we’ll put them on the clinic list immediately. And we’ll invite them as soon as there is a product available for them,” said Meijer Pharmacy District Manager, Adam Harty.

And that first dose guarantees you get the second one, no matter where you go.

“So, you will definitely get your second dose you don’t have to guess about that,” said Heltz.

ISDH emphasizes the importance of a standby list for those who are eligible, those who are next in line, or those who may be at higher risk according to the CDC. On the other hand, they are also urging clinics to use every dose.

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