TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - We’re seeing positive COVID-19 trends across the State of Indiana. Positivity rates and hospital admissions are both decreasing steadily. Every Wabash Valley County is also in the blue zone according to the state’s color-coded map. Indiana Governor Holcomb held his weekly COVID-19 press conference on Wednesday. Here’s the latest from Indiana Health Officials.
Indiana State Health Commissioner Dr. Kristina Box said on Wednesday in just three months’ time, 2.2 million doses of a COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Indiana. 870,000 Hoosiers are fully vaccinated. That’s more than 12% of the state’s population.
Dr. Box says the federal government determines the allocation of vaccines that the state receives. Indiana always seeks as many doses as possible.
Dr. Box shared some interesting statistics regarding this. Indiana is ranked 35th in doses delivered per 100,000 residents despite being ranked 17th in total population across the United States. She says Indiana seems to be receiving thousands of doses less than other states per the CDC website.
Dr. Box says the push to get more vaccines is becoming more urgent with new variants showing up in Indiana. As of Tuesday, Indiana has seen 57 cases of the U.K. variant. She says this variant is much more transmissible so it is vital for you to get a vaccine once you become eligible. Luckily, Dr. Box says more vaccines will be on the way soon.
“Our goal is to get more shots in arms in Indiana. We are eager for the vaccine supply to increase substantially,” Dr. Box said, “According to our reports from the federal government, we will begin to see a greater supply of the three vaccines during the last week of March.”
As News 10 has reported, the state expanded eligibility to educators, support staff, and Hoosiers age 45 and older this week. Chief Medical Officer for the Indiana State Department of Health Dr. Lindsay Weaver spoke more about Indiana’s vaccine rollout.
Dr. Weaver says the state is highlighting that pregnant women are at higher risk for complications from COVID-19 infection. More than 100,000 Hoosiers with conditions that put them at higher risk of severe illness or death from COVID-19 have had their information added to the state’s secure portal. Those individuals will be receiving unique links to sign up for the vaccine. In total, these additions represent over 500,000 additional Hoosiers that can receive the vaccine.
Dr. Weaver adds that nearly 22,000 Hoosiers were vaccinated at the state’s first two mass vaccination sites. Those took place at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Ivy Tech in Sellersburg, Indiana. Two more mass vaccination sites will take place in Gary, Indiana, and at the University of Notre Dame during the next two weekends. These sites will offer only the single-dose Johnson and Johnson vaccine.
Dr. Weaver also says mobile vaccine units will deploy to areas with limited access to vaccines and high percentages of minority or vulnerable populations. This will begin next week.
Finally, Dr. Weaver says there are several high-volume sites across the state that do not fill appointments as quickly as smaller sites. Two locations fall under that description in the Wabash Valley: Good Samaritan Hospital in Knox County and Landsbaum Clinic in Vigo County.
“We are doing everything we can to expand access to a vaccine as quickly as possible and to ensure it is available equitably across the state,” Dr. Weaver concluded, “We will offer more mass vaccination clinics when our federal allocations increase.”
Dr. Weaver says the state will open up vaccine eligibility to Hoosiers age 40 and older very soon.