INDIANAPOLIS (WTWO/WAWV) — During an update on the state of Indiana’s COVID-19 response, Governor Eric Holcomb on Wednesday announced that Hoosiers aged 70 and older are now eligible to receive the vaccine.
State health leaders said this afternoon that more than 59,000 Hoosiers 70 and older had scheduled their appointments since Wednesday morning.
Indiana health leaders are on track to vaccinate more than 450,000 Hoosiers by the end of January.
Indiana State Health Commissioner Dr. Kristina Box said vulnerable populations are the state’s first priority. “I know how hard it is to wait your turn,” she empathized. “We all want a sense of normalcy. The vaccine will help get us there. We’re in a numbers game, and there is just not enough vaciine to provide it to every Hoosier that wants one.”
The vaccine rollout has gone relatively smoothly, officials said, but the biggest problem is scheduling wait times. Dr. Lindsay Weaver said the state health department is working on ways to reduce those wait times on the website and the 211 hotline.
“Our team looks at the numbers every single day to see where do we have the greatest uptick? Who is almost full?” Weaver said. “We pivot to make sure that we add additional locations or send more vaccine there. We’re moving at the will of Hoosiers.”
Officials said that the sight of thousands of Hoosiers receiving vaccines daily offers a glimpse of hope. Governor Holcomb said he and his team want to get all Hoosiers vaccinated in a timely manner, though it will take some time. He said, however, he’s pleased with the response.
“This is really an incredible achievement by a lot of people who have come together for a common cause,” Holcomb exulted. “It gives us a lot of confidence that the vaccine is getting to where it’s intended to be and that’s in the arms of those who are most at risk.”
Post cards with vaccine information needed for those eligible to receive it are being sent out. Public service announcements with that information were also broadcast for the first time on Wednesday. Expansion of vaccine distribution will occur as resources allow.