INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — On Wednesday, every eligible Hoosier who is at least 16 years old will be able to get a vaccination in the state. The rush to get an appointment is on now.
When vaccinations opened to 30-year-olds on Monday, 79,000 people signed up. Health experts at the Regenstrief Institute believe there will be a surge in appointments, however they see younger people following a similar trend to Hoosiers in their 40s and 50s. Those populations saw less interest in the vaccine than people older than 60.
“We have to have the younger populations protected because otherwise they might become infected, and spread it to others in their family,” explained Brian Dixon, Director of Public Health Informatics Regenstrief Institute.
If places like universities or concert venues start requiring vaccinations to enter, Dixon thinks more young Hoosiers may sign up.
“Other people might sit on the sideline until they have a compelling reason,” detailed Dixon. “I think younger populations will gravitate towards the Johnson & Johnson vaccine just because it’s more efficient.”
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is a one shot dose, and is available at various locations in the state, including the mass vaccination site at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS). Vaccination appointments are filling up quickly. As of Tuesday night, IMS was booked up until April 15, although people may be able to find an early spot if there’s a cancellation. Those openings tend to disappear quickly. Some pharmacies are booked out completely.
Kroger also has vaccination appointments but they must be scheduled on the company’s website.
“We do schedule several days out, but the demand is such that it could require you to come back tomorrow or the next day,” said Kroger spokesperson Eric Halvorson. “We are trying to help as many people as we can as quickly as we can. Several of our pharmacists said this is why they got into the business because they are saving lives.”
Kroger offers all three vaccinations, but each location may be different. For anyone under the age of 18 who is looking to get a shot, only Pfizer is approved for that age range.
“They included 16 and 17-year-olds in their clinical trial,” explained Dixon.