INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Teachers and other school employees became eligible Monday for COVID-19 vaccinations through shot clinics across Indiana.
State health officials said last week that the eligibility expansion comes at the direction of the Biden administration, which earlier allowed teachers to be vaccinated at pharmacies taking part in a federal program.
Indiana previously only allowed anyone aged 50 and older and those with at-risk health conditions to make vaccine appointments.
The expansion for teachers now includes educators up to grade 12, as well as other school workers such as classroom aides, bus drivers, cafeteria workers and substitute teachers.
Gov. Eric Holcomb and top state health officials had repeatedly said they believed that targeting vaccinations to older age groups and health care workers, rather than school employees, was more effective at preventing serious illnesses and deaths.
After vaccines are rolled out to teachers, Indiana’s chief medical officer, Dr. Lindsay Weaver, said state health officials plan to next open eligibility incrementally to those aged 40 to 49.
The timeline for the next expansion will be dependent on the state’s weekly vaccine shipments from the federal government, however.
To schedule a vaccine, Hoosiers can visit https://ourshot.in.gov and select a location from one of more than 400 clinics around the state.