TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb held his weekly COVID-19 press briefing on Wednesday afternoon. The main focus was on the Hoosier State’s vaccination process and rollout.
Governor Holcomb says state health officials have been working with the Vaccine Advisory Committee. The State of Indiana is taking an age focused approach in the next stage of vaccine distribution. This is what Governor Holcomb called stage 1B.
This stage includes opening up vaccine administration to Hoosiers aged 80 and above. This population can begin making appointments to get the COVID-19 vaccine this Friday at 9:00 AM. Then, as more vaccines become available, Hoosiers ages 60 and older will become eligible to make their vaccine appointments.
Indiana State Health Commissioner Dr. Kristina Box says this much is true: Hoosiers 80 and older account for only 3.8% of the state population, but nearly 20% of hospitalizations and more than 50% of COVID-19 deaths in the state.
If you include Hoosiers aged 60 and above, that accounts for over 93% of all COVID-19 deaths in Indiana. Dr. Box says protecting the most vulnerable among us is a top priority. That’s why this age focused approach is the right course of action.
“By taking an aged focused approach, we can accomplish two things,” Dr. Box said, “Protecting those at the greatest risk for adverse consequences like death or hospitalization, and then reaching older workers who are more likely to have those comorbidities with Hoosiers in the 60, 65, and 70 ranges.”
Dr. Box says Hoosiers can rest assured that a team of experts has looked closely at Indiana’s data to determine the best course of action to achieve these goals while vaccine supply remains limited.
Chief Medical Officer Dr. Lindsay Weaver says to date; more than 128,000 Hoosiers have received their first dose of vaccine. Nearly 600 Hoosiers have received their second dose of vaccine and are fully vaccinated for COVID-19. 300,000 Hoosiers are scheduled to be vaccinated by the end of this month. So far, more than half a million people have been invited to be eligible to make an appointment for the vaccine.
Again, those 80 and older can begin making their appointments to get COVID-19 vaccinated on Friday at 9:00 AM. You can access help or schedule your appointment by calling 2-1-1. Dr. Weaver says there will be at least one vaccination clinic available in every county in Indiana.
“For the many Hoosiers who are still asking, ‘when can I get my vaccine?’, please know that our goal is to get a vaccine to anyone who wants one as quickly as possible.
Dr. Weaver says the timing of vaccine distribution for additional people depends on if Indiana will receive the roughly 78,000 doses of vaccine expected each week through the end of the month. It also depends on the number of appointments that are made.
COVID-19 vaccinations are free and you can find all the information you need to know at ourshot.in.gov.