‘This is our moment’: Indiana opens eligibility to educators, celebrates IMS mass vaccinations

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INDIANAPOLIS––Indiana is opening vaccine appointments statewide to educators and support staff starting Monday, according to Governor Holcomb. 

The governor and state officials said ages 40-49 age group will be next.

Governor Holcomb thanked State Health Commissioner Dr. Box and all of Indiana’s health care workers that made the mass vaccination site at Indianapolis Motor Speedway possible.

“This is our moment,” said Holcomb as he reflected with awe at the magnitude of the past year’s events leading up to the vaccine being made available at the iconic Indiana landmark.

Over the next week or two, Holcomb said he will deliver a statewide address to speak on “where we were, where we are and where we’re currently going.”

Dr. Box echoed the governor’s sentiments about the event at IMS that vaccinated 16,500 people, bringing the state’s total to 1,178,265 doses given across the state.

“Over the weekend, we made history on another front,” said Dr. Box, who shared stories of Hoosiers arriving from Lake County to southern Indiana. She said people came in every kind of vehicle including golf carts to the sound of cheers and the honking of horns. 

Dr. Box said someone even peeled out while leaving pit row.

According to Dr. Box, getting a vaccine signals a return to the life we knew before COVID. 

She said a person is fully vaccinated two weeks after final dose, and fully vaccinated Hoosiers do not have to quarantine or be tested if they have been in contact and show no symptoms.

Vaccinated Hoosiers can visit with other fully vaccinated people indoors without wearing masks or having to socially distance, she added.

At this time, we are not free to return to massive gatherings without wearing a mask in public.

The CDC said the vast majority need to be fully vaccinated before restrictions can be lifted across the country. Currently, 11% of Hoosiers have been vaccinated.

She said we still don’t know how effective vaccines are against variants, stronger with some than others, and continued to encourage people to wear masks, wash hands, stay home if you’re sick and socially distance.

The latest ISDH dashboard data indicates the state’s 7-day all-test positivity rate of 3.1%, with a cumulative rate of 9.6% positive.

ISDH Chief Medical Officer Dr. Lindsay Weaver reported on the state’s vaccination rollout. She said Indiana agencies are working with healthcare providers to get more Hoosiers vaccinated:

As of Wednesday, 1,178,265 first doses of vaccine have been administered in Indiana, and 744,712 individuals are fully vaccinated.

Hoosiers aged 50 and older, along with healthcare workers, long-term care residents and first responders who are regularly called to the scene of an emergency to render medical assistance, are now eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. 

Dr. Box said the fully vaccinated number includes individuals who have received a second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines and those who received the single Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

She explained the health department will be updating the online dashboard to better show the delineation between first and second doses. 

Starting within the next few days, the vaccine dashboard will show five-year age groups instead of ten year groups, and a new tab will better show the percentage of age groups that have been vaccinated.

To schedule a vaccination, visit Ourshot.In.Gov or call 211 if you do not have access to a computer or require assistance.

Hoosiers needing rental assistance can now apply for help:

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