INDIANAPOLIS — Hundreds of thousands of Hoosiers have already received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. As it becomes more widely available to other Hoosiers, here's what you need to know about when you can get yours and how to register to get a coronavirus vaccine.
Indiana's phased rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine has changed from the fall as doses arrived and CDC recommendations changed.
Indiana's first phase was split into two parts: a 1-A and a 1-B. Here is how those break down:
Patient-facing Healthcare Personnel – Currently Eligible
- Physicians, osteopathic physicians, primary care providers, rural health Providers, OBGYNs, Pediatricians, surgeons, dermatologists, neurologists, cardiologists, ed physicians, anesthesiologists, physician assistants, advanced practice registered nurses, registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, nurse midwives, emergency medical responder, emergency medical technician, advanced EMT, paramedic, occupational therapists, occupational therapy assistant, physical therapists, physical therapy assistant, respiratory care practitioners, speech pathologists, audiologists, certified direct entry midwives, certified nurse aides, home health aides, qualified medication assistants, direct support professionals, radiation therapists, radiology technicians, nuclear medicine technologists, limited radiographers, physicists, psychologists, acupuncturists, athletic trainer, chiropractors, dentists, dental hygienists, dietitians, massage therapists, optometrists, ophthalmologists, pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, pharmacy interns/students, podiatrists, genetic counselor, licensed social workers, clinical social workers, marriage & family therapists, mental health counselors, marriage and family associates, addiction counselors, clinical addiction counselor, mental health associate, addiction counselor associate, clinical addition counselor associate, applied behavioral analysis therapists, board certified behavior analysts, schools nurses, medical interpreters, higher ed students enrolled in a health profession program and receiving patient-facing clinical training (medical, nursing, etc.), local health department staff working at a COVID-19 testing sites or other patient-facing clinic, coroners, funeral directors
- Other staff in a healthcare facility who have direct contact with patients, such as: dietary, environmental services, administrators who have direct contact with patients, clergy who see patients in the healthcare setting, non-clinicians who assist in procedures, transportation staff, etc.
- Facilities/Other Providers: Hospitals, ambulatory surgical centers, FQHCs, inpatient, outpatient, provider office settings, in-home providers, maternal/infant home visitation programs, blood/plasma centers, birthing centers, home health agencies, hospice providers, palliative care providers, ambulatory surgical centers, community health clinics, intermediate care facilities for individuals with intellectual disabilities (ICF/IID), personal care service agencies, clinical laboratories, COVID-19 testing laboratories, community mental health centers, dialysis centers
Long-term Care Facility Residents – Currently Eligible
- Nursing homes
- Assisted living facilities
- Residential care facilities
- Independent living facilities
- Group homes
If you are currently working in a congregate living facility for youth (group home, residential care facility, child caring institution, private secure facility, juvenile detention facility, etc.) and have direct close contact with or provide in-person care to residents – Currently Eligible
Public-facing first responders (full-time, part-time, reservists, volunteers) who could be called to the scene of an emergency – Currently Eligible
- Law Enforcement
- Indiana State Police
- Municipal/town police departments
- College, university, school corporation, and hospital police agencies
- County sheriff departments
- DNR conservation officers
- Fire departments (including volunteer)
- Emergency Medical Services Agencies
- Department of Correction
- Age 80 and older – Currently eligible
- Age 70-79 – Currently eligible
- Age 65-69 – Currently eligible
- Age 60-64 – Currently eligible
- Age 50-59 – Currently eligible
Initial groups of patients identified by their healthcare provider as highest risk of severe illness from COVID-19. 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)
Other eligible groups will be added as more vaccine becomes available. If you are eligible, click here to register and make an appointment.
How to register
If you fall into one of the approved groups, you can register for a vaccine using ourshot.in.gov or calling 211.
Follow these steps to register online:
- Go to ourshot.in.gov.
- Click on the link in the red box near the top of the page that says "Click here to find a vaccination site."
- Select the county you live in.
- Select a vaccine clinic available in your county.
- Select the blue link that says "Click here to register."
- Select the group you belong to and enter your date of birth.
- Certify that you are within the group selected.
- Click "Schedule an appointment."
Appointments for the second dose will be made at the clinic when the first dose is administered.
Meijer, Kroger and Walmart have started offering the vaccine at select stores around the state. Meijer and Kroger each use their own sign-up systems. Eligible customers can schedule a vaccine appointment using the Walmart and Sam’s Club websites.
If you are trying to register a family member or friend in another state, check out this resource from NBC News.
Cost of vaccine
Those receiving the vaccine will not have to pay for it. Insurance information might be requested and insurance could be billed the $28 administration fee. The cost to you will be nothing.
Medicare and Medicaid recipients
Under a regulation by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Medicare and other programs will cover the cost of any vaccine that is authorized by the FDA.
Finding a vaccination site
To find a vaccination site in the county where you live, click here.
Here is a map showing state vaccination rates and statistics for the U.S. using data from the CDC.
Tracking vaccine symptoms
The CDC has created a smartphone-based tool that uses text messaging and web surveys to provide personal health check-ins after you receive the vaccine. The v-safe tool allows you to quickly tell the CDC if you have any side effects after getting the COVID-19 vaccine. If your symptoms warrant, a member of the CDC can then contact you and get you information to help.
The v-safe tool also helps remind you when it is time to get your second dose.
Is it safe to take if pregnant?
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), there’s no evidence that the authorized COVID-19 vaccines could have impacts on pregnancy, but there’s limited data.
Initial clinical trials didn’t include pregnant women. However, 23 women became pregnant during the Pfizer-BioNTech trial. Some were given the vaccine, others were given a placebo. Those participants are being followed to see how the vaccine may have affected their pregnancies.
New trials involving pregnant women are expected to get underway later this month.
Right now, health officials say the risks of the virus may be greater than the risks of the vaccine, especially for pregnant women. According to the CDC, data has shown that pregnant women with COVID-19 have an increased risk of severe illness compared to women who are not pregnant.
The CDC recommends pregnant women consult their health care providers before getting vaccinated if they have concerns.
FDA, which gave emergency approval to both Pfizer and Moderna, says there's no reason to believe the vaccine causes infertility, either.
Should you keep wearing a mask after getting the vaccine?
You won't have the greatest protection against COVID-19 until you get the second dose of the earliest vaccines being given in the U.S.
The Pfizer vaccine, for example, is considered 95% effective about a week after the second dose — a time span of about a month in all. But researchers won't know if it protects against asymptomatic infection and whether the vaccine stops virus transmission for months.
"The vaccine is not immediately effective. It takes at least 14 days, and maybe more for some people, after vaccination for your system to develop immunity against COVID-19," said Neysa P. Ernst, a Johns Hopkins nurse manager working in biocontainment. "Even with the vaccine you could contract COVID-19 if you became infected during this immunity building period."
"So masking protects both the vaccinated and the unvaccinated population," Ernst said.
In addition to wearing masks, people should continue with other precautions like washing hands often and physical distancing.