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50 and older eligible for COVID-19 vaccine in Indiana, state looking at federal program to vaccinate teachers

Hoosiers 50 and older account for 35 percent of the population, but they are 80 percent of the COVID-19 hospitalizations and account for 97.6 percent of the deaths.

INDIANAPOLIS — Gov. Eric Holcomb announced Wednesday the coronavirus vaccine is now open to Hoosiers 50 and older. This is the second time this week that the age requirement for vaccinations has expanded those who are eligible.

Vaccinations in the state are as follows:

  • Age 80 and older: 70 percent
  • Age 70-79: 71 percent
  • Age 60-69: 56 percent
  • Age 55-59: 28 percent

Hoosiers 50 and older account for 35 percent of the population, but they are 80 percent of the COVID-19 hospitalizations and account for 97.6 percent of the deaths.

Initial groups of patients identified by their health care provider as highest risk of severe illness from COVID-19 are also eligible. These individuals will receive a unique registration link or may call 211:

  • Active dialysis patients
  • Sickle cell disease patients
  • Down syndrome
  • Post-solid organ transplant
  • People who are actively in treatment (chemotherapy, radiation, surgery) for cancer now or in the last three months, or with active primary lung cancer or active hematologic cancers (lymphoma, leukemia and multiple myeloma)

Holcomb discussed the federal pharmacy program that will help get teachers vaccinated. He said he does not yet have specific answers on how many doses the state will receive that will go to pharmacies that will vaccinate teachers who are not yet age-eligible to go to state-sponsored clinics.

Indiana will continue an age-based approach to the vaccine. As vaccine becomes available, Hoosiers 40 and older will be added to those eligible. By adding that age group, 91 percent of Hoosiers with co-morbidities would be eligible for the vaccine. Additionally, more than 50 percent of Indiana teachers would become eligible for the vaccine. Hoosiers age 40 to 49 are three times more likely to have severe illness from COVID-19.

At this point, the state is not anticipating additional Johnson & Johnson vaccine for several weeks. After the mass vaccination sites for qualifying Hoosiers, the remaining J&J vaccine the state currently has will be distributed to other vaccination sites.

Here is the mass vaccination clinic schedule:

Indianapolis Motor Speedway

  • 4790 W. 16th St., Indianapolis
  • March 5-7
  • 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Enter through main gate off 16th Street; participants will remain in their cars for their vaccines.

Ivy Tech Community College

  • 8204 County Road 311, Sellersburg
  • March 12-13
  • 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Participants will remain in their cars for their vaccines.

University of Notre Dame

  • Compton Family Ice Arena
  • 100 Compton Family Ice Arena, Notre Dame
  • March 26-27
  • 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

ISDH said more dates may be added to each of the above sites depending on demand and vaccine availability. 

All clinics require advance registration through ourshot.in.gov or by calling 211. No walk-ups will be permitted.

Follow these steps to register online:

  • Go to vaccine.coronavirus.in.gov.
  • Select which group you belong to in order to qualify for the vaccine (health care worker, first responder, people 50 and older).
  • If you are registering by age, you must enter your date of birth for confirmation.
  • Enter your zip code, and click "Search."
  • Select a vaccine clinic available in your area.
  • Select the blue link that says "Schedule an Appointment" for your desired location.
  • Find a date with availability, and click "Select This Time."
  • Fill out the patient's information (name, date of birth, sex, contact information), and click "Submit Patient Information."