Gov. Holcomb announces vaccine eligibility opens to Hoosiers aged 50 and over

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INDIANAPOLIS––The state of Indiana announced it is opening vaccination eligibility to persons ages 50 and over.

Governor Holcomb delivered the news during Wednesday’s coronavirus briefing.

The announcement comes right after the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) announced on Tuesday that Hoosiers ages 55 and older are eligible to register for the vaccine.

When asked about teachers under age 50 who want to get vaccinated, Holcomb and Dr. Box said they must schedule their appointment directly with Kroger, Meijer and Walmart who are part of the federal program and not through the state’s website or 211.

State Health Commissioner Dr. Kristina Box looked back on the past year, as this weekend marks one year since the first reported case in Indiana.

She said Indiana’s partnerships with companies like Eli Lilly were crucial in building the state’s response system to the coronavirus.

Indiana continues to see positivity rates and hospitalizations decline, which are positive trends to celebrate, said Dr. Box.

She reported the state’s positivity rate this week is 3.5%, down from 4.% last week. Dr. Box said the last time we saw a rate that low was in September of last year. She added that hospitalizations have dropped to less than 100 a day. The state’s county color map shows 51 in blue and the rest are yellow, and it’s wonderful to see no orange or red she said.

Dr. Box said testing sites will remain open, though some have reduced hours. There has been a lull in testing, but access in communities is important and we will be ready in the face of  variants or other spike concerns.

ISDH has also opened appointments to those with the following health conditions:

Active dialysis patients, Sickle cell disease patients, Down syndrome, Post-solid organ transplant

People who are actively in treatment (chemotherapy, radiation, surgery) for cancer now or in the last three months, or with active primary lung cancer or active hematologic cancers (lymphoma, leukemia and multiple myeloma)

On Monday, Indiana announced mass vaccination clinics opening starting Saturday.

On Tuesday, President Joe Biden announced the U.S. is on track to have enough COVID-19 vaccine doses for every adult by the end of May.

“About three weeks ago, we were able to say that we’ll have enough vaccine supply for adults by end of July. I’m pleased to announce today as a consequence of the stepped up process that we’ve ordered and just outlined, this country will have enough vaccine supply for every adult in America by the end of May. That’s progress,” said Biden.

Biden also added that he would like to see enough vaccine doses for every educator and school worker to receive the first dose of the vaccine by the end of March. He said he would direct every state to prioritize educators for vaccination.

The president urged Senate Democrats on Tuesday to rally behind a $1.9 trillion COVID-relief bill and stood by his proposed $1,400 payments to individuals, even as some party moderates sought to dial back parts of the package.

In the meantime, Indiana lawmakers are trying to get more relief into the hands of small businesses hit by the pandemic, but some owners say they are making it too difficult for the ones hurting the most. The Indiana Restaurant and Lodging Association is in support of HB 1004.

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