Indiana Daily Student

More than 50% of Hoosiers over 65 have scheduled or received first dose of COVID-19 vaccine

<p>Gov. Eric Holcomb speaks Wednesday over Zoom during a weekly virtual briefing about the COVID-19 pandemic. Holcomb said than 50% of Indiana residents over the age 65 have scheduled or received their first vaccine.</p>

Gov. Eric Holcomb speaks Wednesday over Zoom during a weekly virtual briefing about the COVID-19 pandemic. Holcomb said than 50% of Indiana residents over the age 65 have scheduled or received their first vaccine.

Indiana Chief Medical Officer Dr. Lindsay Weaver said more than 50% of Indiana residents aged 65 and up have either scheduled or received their first dose of the vaccine.

At Wednesday’s weekly Indiana COVID-19 update press conference with Gov. Eric Holcomb, Indiana State Health Commissioner Dr. Kristina Box said Indiana will not be decreasing the age eligibility for COVID-19 vaccinations at this time.

The state is not equipped to lower the age eligibility at this time, with Indiana only receiving about 100,000 doses of vaccinations every week, she said.

Once the state has the capacity, vaccination eligibility will move to Hoosiers age 60 and up. After the 60 and up age group, people over the age of 50 and under 50 with certain pre-existing conditions will be able to receive a vaccination, Weaver said. 

Related: [Monroe County health official: wear layered masks, even after getting vaccine]

Weaver said the pre-existing conditions that qualify for that group are active dialysis patients, people with Down Syndrome, post-solid organ transplant recipients, Sickle cell disease patients and people who are actively in treatment for cancer or have been in the last three months, as well as those with active primary lung cancer or active hematologic cancers such as lymphoma, leukemia and multiple myeloma.

Weaver said Indiana is looking to lower the age requirement for vaccinations as soon as possible. Indiana is prioritizing people age 50 years and older over younger Indiana residents for the COVID-19 vaccine, she said. 

According to the Indiana COVID-19 death and hospitalizations data presented in the press conference, 82% of Hoosiers in a high risk category for COVID-19 are age 50 and older. Weaver also said people age 50 and older make up only 35.3% of the state population but represent 80% of COVID-19 hospitalizations and 97.6% of deaths. 

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