INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — About 9% of Indiana residents have now been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus as state officials continue facing calls to make the vaccine shots available to all teachers.
The state health department expanded vaccine eligibility Tuesday to include those ages 55-59 along with an increase in the vaccine supply coming to Indiana.
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The department said Wednesday that about 600,000 people are considered fully vaccinated since the shots began in mid-December.
Gov. Eric Holcomb and state health officials have stuck with a plan for distributing shots based on age groups, saying that protects those most vulnerable to severe illnesses and deaths.
Holcomb is holding his weekly briefing Wednesday afternoon and will likely be asked about President Joe Biden’s call for states to make vaccinating teachers a priority. Teacher unions in Indiana have called for teacher vaccine eligibility like many other states because of the exposure risk from daily interaction with students.
Indiana’s rates of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths have continued their sharp declines from December’s peaks.
The state’s 648 coronavirus-related deaths reported so far for February are about one-fifth of the 3,009 recorded during December, Indiana’s deadliest month during the pandemic.