INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — In the coming weeks, a vaccine may be in the hands of health workers and long term care facilities across the state. They make up the 1-A group of initial vaccine distribution recipients in Indiana. Who will be apart of the next 1-B phase is still being discussed, but experts at the Regenstrief Institute say a picture is beginning to form.
“The plan essentially tries to identify and target vulnerable populations across the state who would benefit from the vaccine,” explains Brian Dixon, Director of Public Health and Informatics Regenstrief Institute.
Dixon believes the next stage could be for certain essential workers and Americans with comorbidities that are known to become complicated with COVID-19. While this is still being discussed, certain companies may begin lobbying for their employees to be high on the list.
“They are really basing it off of risk, so the more you come into contact with people or the more your business needs people to come in on a regular basis and utilize it,” detailed Dixon. “I think we have already seen that Uber’s CEO has already begun to lobby that drivers should be higher up on priority lists.”
While all 50 states will be trying to acquire doses of the vaccine, Dixon said the distribution plan is based off of population with Indiana sitting in the middle of the pack. He also adds that surveys have shown that roughly 50% of Americans are skeptical of the vaccine, or contemplating whether to get it.
“Just because it’s new doesn’t mean it isn’t safe. It took our country a long time to vet the vaccine, and other countries have approved it ahead of us,” explained Dixon.
If you do qualify for the 1-B phase, and are determining whether to get it now or later, Dixon suggests asking yourself a few questions.
“One of the things to think about is have you had it?” asked Dixon, believing you can hold off if you have already dealt with the illness. “Other thing is whether or not you are going to be interacting on a regular basis with others.”
If your job makes you eligible, but your role does not involve interacting with the public regularly, Dixon suggests you may want to hold off to improve access for your coworkers who are more at risk.
Dixon believes Hoosiers could see a potential release for 1-B individuals in January or early February.