INDIANAPOLIS (WTWO/WAWV) – Nearly 76,000 Hoosiers have received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, with thousands more waiting to be vaccinated.
Indiana health officials say, by the end of the week, the state would have received a total of around 290,000 doses of vaccine from companies Pfizer and Moderna.
“That represents nearly 250,00 thousand healthcare Hoosiers who can receive their first doses of vaccine to protect them from COVID-19, and another 40,000 directed to our long-term care,” said Dr. Lindsay Weaver, Indiana State Department of Health CMO.
With only 76,000 receiving their first dose so far weaver says it may appear that the there is excess vaccine, but she says that doesn’t paint the entire picture.
“We received a sizeable initial shipment of vaccine but our weekly allocation will be lower going forward. We also had limited vaccination occurring over Christmas and again at this end of this week for the new year,” Weaver said.
Following the holidays, Weaver says she does anticipate vaccinations to increase.
“We expect to absorb any excess over the next couple of weeks as we continue to vaccinate our healthcare workers,” Weaver said.
While front-line healthcare workers and long-term care facilities are prioritized, officials are also asking hospitals to create standby lists to prevent wasting resources.
“For instance, if a person can’t keep an appointment there might be a patient facing staff member in another part of the hospital who hasn’t registered yet,” Weaver said.
As for the state’s ability to vaccinate other groups, Weaver says those discussions are ongoing.
“Our external vaccine vaccine advisory committee met this week to review the latest federal advisory committee guidelines and Indiana data to help make the recommendations that best suit Indiana’s needs. We hope to have those to share with you in the next week or so,” she said.
The state of Indiana also launched a COVID-19 vaccination dashboard on Wednesday.