(INDIANAPOLIS) — Indiana is expanding coronavirus vaccinations for the second time in five days.
Hoosiers over 70 can now get the vaccine — 60,000 signed up in the first six hours. Indiana had opened vaccinations to people over 80 last Friday.
The Centers for Disease Control recommended last week that states give the shot to anyone over
65. But state health commissioner Kristina Box says Indiana will stick to its plan of prioritizing
people based on their risk of serious or fatal illness if they catch the virus. She says while the federal
government has said Indiana can expect 79,000 doses of vaccine a week, there’s no guarantee
that commitment will be met. And Lindsay Weaver, the health department’s chief medical officer,
says Indiana won’t put itself in the position of other states which have rapidly expanded vaccine
eligibility, only to have long lines of cars waiting to get the virus.
Weaver says Indiana has at times had long waits for people on the phone trying to get a vaccine
appointment, but says it’s far better for those waits to take place in the comfort of one’s home.
Governor Holcomb says he’s been delighted at the high interest in the vaccine. He says surveys
before the vaccines were approved indicated many people might be reluctant to get it. Instead, he
says, the health department has repeatedly heard patients offer variations on the theme of, “I want
my life back.”
5% of Indiana’s adult population has received at least the first dose of the two-shot vaccine,
and another 10% have appointments to get the first shot this month.