WATCH: Holcomb announces Hoosiers 50 and older now eligible for COVID-19 vaccine

Wabash Valley COVID-19 updates

INDIANAPOLIS — Gov. Eric Holcomb and other state leaders will provide an update at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday on the pandemic and its impact on Indiana.

The Indiana Department of Health Wednesday announced that Hoosiers age 50 and older are now eligible to receive a free COVID-19 vaccine. This expansion of eligibility makes the vaccine available to an additional 412,000 Hoosiers.

Due to limited vaccine supplies nationally, Indiana has prioritized healthcare workers, first responders and those who are most vulnerable in its vaccine rollout. Individuals age 50 and older account for just over 35 percent of the state’s population but represent 80 percent of the COVID-19 hospitalizations and 98 percent of all COVID-19 deaths.

President Joe Biden on Tuesday said he would direct every state to prioritize educators for vaccination, noting that he would like to see enough vaccine doses for every educator and school workers to receive the first dose of the vaccine by the end of March.

State Rep. Tonya Pfaff (D-Terre Haute) recently penned a letter to Holcomb urging him to make teachers next in line to be vaccinated. She noted that more than half of the states, including Illinois and other neighboring states, are already vaccinated educators.

“We should respect their work and what they risk each day to carry out their mission to students and families, and equip them with the vaccine so they can finally feel considered and safe,” Pfaff said.

A total of 663,511 Hoosiers have been diagnosed with COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, and 12,200 Hoosiers are confirmed to have died from the virus.

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