After initially focusing on providing COVID-19 vaccinations to healthcare professionals and some frontline workers during Phase 1a of the state's vaccination distribution plan, officials will be shifting into Phase 1b which will open up eligibility to new sectors of the population. Starting Friday, Jan. 8, at 9 a.m. EST Hoosiers age 80 and older can begin making appointments to receive the COVID-19 vaccine for free.
In order to register online, indiviuals will need to vist www.ourshot.in.gov and complete the following:
- Click the link to go to the registration site
- Enter your Zip Code to see a map of vaccination clinics
- Register yourself or an eligible person using their name and age
It was noted that family members or care takers may schedule an appointment for a senior. However, regardless of who completes the registration, the individual receiving the vaccine must bring photo identification to their appointment.
Eligible elders may also schedule an appointment by calling 2-1-1 after 9 a.m. on Friday. According to officials, a call center representative will make the appointment for a senior. Individuals are permitted to make a call on a senior's behalf if they cannot do so themselves. The call center will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST daily, including on the weekends.
Since the COVID-19 vaccine requires two doses, an appointment to receive the second dose will be made at the clinic when the first dose is administered and reminder messages will be sent to the receipient.
Chief Medical Officer Dr. Lindsay Weaver shared that they're expecting to have at least one vaccination clinic in every Indiana county. As of Wednesday, there were 148 clinics statewide with 55 hospital locations, 91 local health departments and two pharmacy locations in Newton and Posey counties.
As more vaccines are available, the next eligible groups will be those 70 and older and then 60 and up. The timing of the eligibility expansion will depend on whether or not the state receives approximately 78,000 doses expected to be delivered each week through the end of the month and the amount of appointments that are scheduled.
During the weekly state coronavirus update on Wednesday, Dec. 6, Governor Eric Holcomb shared that while Hoosiers 60 and older only account for 22.5 percent of the state's population, they make up about 64 percent of hospitlizations and 93.3 percent of COVID-19 linked deaths in the state.
State Health Comissioners Dr. Kristina Box also addressed the plan, explaining why it differs from some of the plans put in place by other states.
Box explained, "From the outset of this pandemic, protecting the most vulnerable among us and protecting our healthcare infrastructure has been our top priorities. Distributing vaccine is not a 'one size fits all' process, every state has unique considerations and that's why you will see some states adopt an approach that focuses first on age groups while others will start with occupations."
She went on to say that the age-focused approach will help accomplish two goals; protecting those at greatest risk for adverse consequences like death or hospilization and reaching older workers who have co-morbidies when they enter into the 60-70 range.
In order to spread the word about Indiana's COVID-19 vaccination distribution plan, officilas plan to launch a new public awareness campaign 'It's Our Shot Hoosiers'. Keep an eye out on social media and in.gov for additional details about the initiative.