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Indiana clamps down on COVID-19 vaccine eligibility, clinics ignoring guidelines

Without enough vaccine for all Hoosiers, state health commissioner Dr. Kristina Box said Wednesday that officials are stressing adherence to the state’s vaccine rollout plan that bases shot eligibility on age, rather than moving up teachers and other essential workers as other states have done.

Posted: Feb 25, 2021 10:57 AM

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A day after Indiana expanded coronavirus vaccine to all Hoosiers 60 and older, state health officials doubled down on eligibility restrictions and announced new guidelines for clinics administering shots.

Without enough vaccine for all Hoosiers, state health commissioner Dr. Kristina Box said Wednesday that officials are stressing adherence to the state’s vaccine rollout plan that bases shot eligibility on age, rather than moving up teachers and other essential workers as other states have done.

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Several clinics that have “ignored” those guidelines will not receive any more first-dose vaccines, Box said, though she declined to indicate where or how many such vaccination sites would be affected.

Box said state health officials are reaching out to other clinics that have deviated from the eligibility guidelines “to find out why and, to re-educate them about the importance of following the state’s priority list” when scheduling appointments and adding names to waitlists.

“We are not trying to be the vaccine police, that is the last thing we want to be,” Box said. “We are trying to ensure that we have ethical and equitable access to the vaccine across all 92 counties, based on what the data show are the highest risk individuals here in the state of Indiana. We cannot achieve that goal if sites deviate from the guidelines.”

The state health department’s chief medical officer Dr. Lindsay Weaver said clinics have additionally been instructed to stop administering first doses of COVID-19 vaccine to people who live in other states to ensure “that every dose received in Indiana goes to Hoosiers.”

Around 19,000 healthcare workers and first responders who work in Indiana but live in other states were inoculated, Weaver said.

Those out-of-state workers will still be able to schedule and receive their second dose, but no new appointments will be scheduled for non-residents.

After a winter storm closed more than 80 clinics and disrupted upwards of 43,000 vaccine appointments last week, Box said Indiana has since received all delayed doses of vaccine, and regular weekly allotments have resumed.

State officials anticipated 247,000 doses of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines this week, Weaver said Wednesday.

Accounting for new additional doses of Pfizer vaccine vials, that number is expected to increase to 267,000 beginning next week.

Indiana could also receive vials of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine as early as next week, she continued.

After vaccine eligibility opened to include Hoosiers aged 60 to 64 on Tuesday, Weaver said nearly 112,000 people in the age group have scheduled appointments, accounting for more than a fourth of the eligible population in that age bracket.

Nearly 921,000 Hoosiers have received their first dose of vaccine, an increase of nearly 87,000 from last week, Weaver said. Around 480,000 people across Indiana are now fully vaccinated.

As Indiana’s rates of new COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations and deaths continued a steep decline after peaking in early December, state health officials also lowered the risk level for COVID-19 spread in nearly all counties.

The state Department of Health on Wednesday reported 1,019 new coronavirus infections, bringing the total number of Hoosiers known to have the virus up to 658,043.

Health officials also added 14 recent coronavirus deaths to the statewide total, pushing it to 12,467 fatalities including both confirmed and presumed COVID-19 infections.

The state Department of Health’s weekly tracking map updated Wednesday labels no counties in the highest-risk red category for the second week in a row. That is down from 73 of the 92 counties in that category last month.

This week’s map lists only three counties in the next-riskiest orange category, a drop from eight last week and 40 two weeks earlier.

Fifty other counties have moved to the moderate-risk yellow rating, and 39 counties — including Marion, Hancock and Johnson — are labeled in the lowest-risk blue category.

Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb announced Wednesday that despite “remarkable” progress to state statistics in that last month, he will still extend extend the state’s health emergency and county-based restrictions for an additional 30 days.

“We were trending in the right direction. We have made remarkable progress in a relatively short period of time,” Holcomb said. “But this is not a mission accomplished moment — far from it.”

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 703345

Reported Deaths: 13194
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion959691716
Lake51222940
Allen38926670
Hamilton34288404
St. Joseph33770539
Elkhart27117431
Vanderburgh22034393
Tippecanoe21671212
Johnson17451374
Porter17206297
Hendricks16735310
Clark12657190
Madison12302337
Vigo12155244
Monroe11385166
LaPorte10800204
Delaware10312184
Howard9617211
Kosciusko9068113
Hancock7939139
Bartholomew7854153
Warrick7675155
Floyd7542176
Wayne6880198
Grant6773170
Boone6524100
Morgan6370138
Dubois6071117
Marshall5753108
Dearborn568075
Cass5671102
Henry5563100
Noble537983
Jackson492369
Shelby477795
Lawrence4332118
Gibson427389
Harrison426570
Montgomery416486
Clinton416053
DeKalb406684
Huntington376980
Whitley375539
Miami371465
Knox365389
Steuben362657
Putnam351960
Wabash346677
Jasper346146
Adams337652
Ripley333368
Jefferson311579
White307354
Daviess288899
Wells285180
Decatur278592
Fayette277062
Greene270385
Posey268333
Scott260553
Clay252244
LaGrange251470
Randolph234480
Washington230431
Spencer227431
Jennings224647
Fountain207745
Sullivan207342
Starke201952
Owen191856
Fulton190839
Carroll185620
Jay185529
Perry179536
Orange176553
Rush170324
Vermillion165743
Franklin165435
Tipton160943
Parke143816
Blackford132831
Pike130134
Pulaski113145
Newton102934
Brown99640
Crawford97014
Benton96213
Martin82415
Warren78915
Switzerland7698
Union69610
Ohio55511
Unassigned0405

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1048109

Reported Deaths: 18917
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1217031352
Cuyahoga1063982060
Hamilton779451165
Montgomery49883989
Summit45144907
Lucas39826760
Butler37638568
Stark31348894
Lorain24090472
Warren23835291
Mahoning20822583
Lake19915362
Clermont19397228
Delaware17972130
Licking16089206
Fairfield15646196
Trumbull15521459
Medina14815259
Greene14613236
Clark13576288
Wood12709184
Portage12313194
Allen11303229
Richland11017198
Miami10511212
Muskingum8688127
Wayne8543209
Columbiana8527226
Pickaway8421120
Marion8360135
Tuscarawas8359239
Erie7540153
Ross6692145
Hancock6683123
Geauga6527146
Ashtabula6458164
Scioto6280100
Belmont5591158
Union556247
Lawrence5458102
Jefferson5283147
Huron5270113
Darke5264121
Sandusky5164119
Seneca5093118
Washington5074107
Athens499454
Auglaize474884
Mercer470384
Shelby455089
Knox4371108
Madison421058
Putnam420298
Ashland412086
Fulton407966
Defiance399996
Crawford3858100
Brown385555
Logan372276
Preble369598
Clinton359659
Ottawa355478
Highland346059
Williams323274
Champaign318556
Jackson306951
Guernsey305848
Perry289349
Fayette276948
Morrow274439
Hardin263563
Henry263166
Coshocton258257
Holmes252699
Van Wert238662
Gallia233246
Pike232431
Adams227552
Wyandot226353
Hocking208958
Carroll188947
Paulding168538
Meigs141438
Noble132737
Monroe128841
Morgan106423
Harrison105336
Vinton81414
Unassigned02
Fort Wayne
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Angola
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Huntington
Partly Cloudy
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Hi: 58° Lo: 34°
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Fort Wayne
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Lima
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Temperatures start to climb back up on Friday as we'll see mostly sunny skies return to northeast Indiana and northwest Ohio.
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