Indiana will soon expand COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to Hoosiers 60 and up

The decrease in the age of eligibility will happen 'as soon as possible,' once vaccine becomes available, the state health department’s chief medical officer Dr. Lindsay Weaver announced Wednesday.

Posted: Feb 11, 2021 9:55 AM

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana health officials will soon expand coronavirus vaccines to Hoosiers aged 60 to 65 as they continue to sidestep federal recommendations for vaccine rollout and delay the timeline for teachers and other essential workers to become eligible for COVID-19 shots.

The decrease in the age of eligibility will happen “as soon as possible,” once vaccine becomes available, the state health department’s chief medical officer Dr. Lindsay Weaver announced Wednesday.

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Hoosiers aged 50 to 59, as well as those under age 50 who suffer from certain comorbidities, will be on deck, Weaver said, although there are no specific timelines in place for when new eligibility expansions will take effect.

“After we reach age 60, when we have enough vaccine and have vaccinated an appropriate portion of the 60 to 65 age group, we will then incrementally expand eligibility,” Weaver said, noting it will take time to vaccine the group that includes some 432,000 people.

Dr. Kristina Box, the state health commissioner, said Indiana is currently receiving about 100,000 doses of vaccine each week. Because that supply “remains limited,” the current eligibility hierarchy for those aged 65 and up will continue at least through this week, she continued.

“This way, we can fully analyze the number of second dose appointments against our existing and our projected inventory,” Box said. “Our goal is to ensure that we have all of these second doses covered before expanding further.”

Indiana officials have based shot eligibility on age rather than moving up teachers and other essential workers as other states have done.

They cite statistics that those ages 60 and older represent 93% of Indiana’s COVID-19 deaths and 64% of hospitalizations, arguing that vaccinating those people will have the biggest impact.

Looking ahead at the 50 and older population, the state’s top health officials maintained the age group makes up just over 35% of Indiana’s population, but accounts for 80% of COVID-19 hospitalizations and 97.6% of deaths

The course of action is in contradiction to guidelines released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, however, which place teachers ahead of those 65 to 74 years old, along with grocery store and public transit workers, and others.

“We’re being very methodical about this,” Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb said Wednesday. “The way that we’re scheduling appointments here is accommodating, both to the consumer — the person wanting to get the shot in their arm — and our supply.”

So far, 737,000 Hoosiers been vaccinated against COVID-19, according to state health department statistics.

Of those, 258,000 have received both doses.

Nearly 1.4 million vaccination appointments have been scheduled since December, Box said.

Sixty-eight percent of eligible health care workers and first responders have so far received or scheduled vaccine, Box said. In addition, nearly 81,000 doses have been administered to residents and staff at the state’s long term care facilities.

The state Department of Health on Wednesday also announced that Indiana has surpassed 12,000 coronavirus-related deaths after the state’s three deadliest months during the pandemic.

Officials added 52 recent coronavirus deaths to the statewide total, pushing it to 12,001 fatalities including both confirmed and presumed COVID-19 infections.

Indiana’s rates of new COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations and deaths have declined steeply since peaking in early December, but the state still recorded more than 1,900 coronavirus deaths during January.

That followed more than 9,000 coronavirus deaths last year that contributed to a one-year jump of 16% in statewide mortality.

State health officials, meanwhile, have lowered the risk level for COVID-19 spread in more counties.

The state Department of Health’s weekly tracking map updated Wednesday labels only Switzerland County in far southeastern Indiana in the highest-risk red category.

That is down from 73 of the 92 counties in that category four weeks ago.

This week’s map lists 40 counties in the next-riskiest orange category.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1084488

Reported Deaths: 17386
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1425562217
Lake705171220
Allen64347862
Hamilton49481481
St. Joseph48135639
Elkhart39011536
Vanderburgh33874494
Tippecanoe29863271
Johnson26876463
Hendricks25548379
Porter24683380
Madison20440444
Clark19785275
Vigo18609308
LaPorte16638260
Monroe16237217
Delaware16230286
Howard16181310
Kosciusko13763162
Hancock12644184
Bartholomew12544188
Warrick11889189
Wayne11794264
Floyd11792225
Grant11484233
Morgan10134188
Boone9576120
Noble8921121
Henry8917163
Marshall8792146
Dearborn875798
Dubois8673138
Shelby7958127
Cass7907126
Lawrence7861182
DeKalb7416106
Jackson738093
Huntington7280107
Gibson6922118
Montgomery6830122
Harrison680696
Knox6779113
Steuben641185
Miami6384106
Whitley631160
Putnam626582
Clinton614176
Wabash5958108
Jasper591991
Jefferson5617102
Ripley540892
Adams527881
Daviess4964116
Scott475978
Wells462998
White459967
Greene458399
Clay452162
Decatur4491109
Jennings434666
Fayette429094
LaGrange413890
Posey398344
Washington380654
Randolph3770107
Fountain364962
Spencer353446
Fulton352270
Starke343672
Sullivan342454
Owen341676
Orange320270
Jay315450
Rush293332
Carroll287037
Franklin283544
Perry281453
Vermillion277557
Parke244930
Tipton244664
Pike241744
Blackford213944
Pulaski203158
Newton176552
Brown169850
Crawford167129
Benton160517
Martin149219
Switzerland143712
Warren131416
Union115416
Ohio90513
Unassigned0581

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1673496

Reported Deaths: 26483
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1757641826
Cuyahoga1629012636
Hamilton1118741528
Montgomery791421387
Summit697231199
Lucas615331017
Butler55597803
Stark521611170
Lorain40661639
Warren35239412
Mahoning34821769
Lake31171493
Clermont30541362
Delaware26553182
Trumbull26366611
Licking26095335
Medina25072351
Fairfield24063287
Greene23957369
Clark21542387
Portage20538280
Richland20465336
Wood19524246
Allen18427320
Miami16950348
Columbiana16385331
Muskingum16346206
Wayne15351304
Tuscarawas14018357
Marion12978194
Erie12350198
Ashtabula12171225
Scioto12166182
Pickaway12009151
Ross11417223
Hancock11151173
Geauga10572174
Lawrence10433171
Belmont10200231
Huron9545155
Jefferson9425225
Union933375
Sandusky8981166
Seneca8639156
Knox8591169
Washington8578156
Athens825096
Darke8215179
Ashland7777147
Auglaize7695115
Shelby7302132
Defiance7174114
Brown7015115
Crawford7010150
Fulton6953111
Logan6818108
Mercer679397
Guernsey677983
Highland6591117
Madison639289
Clinton6361106
Williams623498
Preble6153139
Putnam6054120
Jackson569496
Champaign564786
Perry557179
Coshocton5525103
Ottawa549599
Morrow504464
Fayette481270
Hardin475399
Gallia460278
Pike457876
Van Wert451591
Adams4495109
Henry422776
Hocking398093
Holmes3917137
Wyandot366673
Carroll348978
Paulding317449
Meigs300957
Monroe230860
Noble216147
Morgan208938
Harrison204052
Vinton182037
Unassigned05
Fort Wayne
Mostly Cloudy
34° wxIcon
Hi: 38° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 25°
Angola
Cloudy
32° wxIcon
Hi: 37° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 26°
Huntington
Clear
32° wxIcon
Hi: 38° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 25°
Decatur
Mostly Cloudy
34° wxIcon
Hi: 38° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 25°
Van Wert
Mostly Cloudy
34° wxIcon
Hi: 38° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 26°
The chilly temperatures and clouds are sticking around Monday with a brief warm up midweek.
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