Shari Rudavsky | Indianapolis Star
Daughter gives mother COVID-19 vaccine
Michelle Del Busto gives her mother her final dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at Allisonville Meadows facility in Fishers, Ind.
Grace Hollars, Indianapolis Star
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Indiana on Tuesday opened eligibility to those 60 to 64, the next group in its age-based rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine.
As of Tuesday morning, those ages 60 to 64 were able to sign up for appointments on the state’s website, ourshot.in.gov, or by calling 211.
Within the first day nearly 91,000 Indiana residents, ages 60 to 64, availed themselves of the opportunity, signing up for vaccine appointments at more than 380 sites around the state. That’s just under a third of all individuals in that age group.
The state plans to host 10 clinics around the state that will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday to increase availability of vaccine in areas where all appointment slots are filled.
Those additional clinics will be held in Bartholomew, Clinton, Dearborn, Greene, Lake, LaPorte, Lawrence, Randolph, Scott, and White counties.
Many Kroger pharmacies, however, were unable to add new appointments because their vaccine shipments had been delayed, said Eric Halvorson, Kroger spokesman in an email. He said that once the next doses arrive at some point this week the pharmacies would add appointments.
Starting now, the state will restrict vaccination appointments to people who are Indiana residents. People will be asked to show proof of residency and age at their appointments.
Last week state health officials said that about 17,000 non-Indiana residents had been vaccinated, most of whom work here but live across state borders.
State health officials said last Wednesday that they were hoping to expand eligibility to this group some time in the week that began Monday.
Winter weather the previous week forced the closure of many clinics and delayed vaccine shipments, state health officials said.
As of last Wednesday, 56% of Hoosiers age 65 to 69 had made appointments to be vaccinated or received their first dose and 65% of those 70 and older had done so.
Unlike other states which have extended invitations to be vaccinated to those in certain professions, Indiana for the most part has been prioritizing who can receive the vaccine by one’s birthdate. After vaccinating health care professions, long-term care residents and staff, and first responders, the state opened eligibility to octogenarians.
The 60 to 64 age group includes about 432,000 people in Indiana, Dr. Lindsay Weaver, chief medical officer for the Indiana Department of Health said. Hoosiers 60 and older account for 64% of COVID-19 hospitalizations and more than 93% of the deaths in the state.
After that, the state will start vaccinating people in their 50s as well as those with elevated risk due to health conditions.
With nearly 858,000 Hoosiers in their 50s, the state will need “a large influx of vaccine” to extend eligibility to this group, Weaver said. Those 50 and older comprise 35% of the population but make up 80% of hospitalizations and nearly 98% of deaths.
The state could well break those in their 50s into two groups, just as it did with sexagenarians, those aged 60 to 69.
State health officials have said that people in the eligibility groups that are on deck — in other words not yet eligible but are in the next group — can be placed on standby lists at individual clinics to receive any vaccine that’s left over at the end of the day.
Contact IndyStar reporter Shari Rudavsky at email@example.com. Follow her on Facebook and on Twitter: @srudavsky.
Indiana extends COVID-19 vaccination eligibility to ages 60-64 – IndyStar