The Indiana Department of Health announced Monday that Hoosiers age 65 and older are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
Appointments can be made by visiting ourshot.in.gov. Those who don't have access to a computer or cell phone -- or who need assistance with registration -- can call 211 or contact one of Indiana’s Area Agencies on Aging. Caregivers or loved ones may make an appointment on behalf of an eligible senior. There is no cost to recieve the vaccine.
The vaccine requires two doses to obtain full immunity. Appointments for the second dose will be made at the clinic when the first dose is administered.
Vaccine supply remains limited nationally. Dr. Lindsay Weaver, IDH chief medical officer, said last week that federal officials told the state to expect a boost of about 13,000 doses a week. It currently receives about 80,000 a week. The IDH said additional groups will be added as more vaccine becomes available.
As of Sunday afternoon, 562,084 individuals had received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and 143,638 have been fully vaccinated.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people who get the vaccine should continue to observe common prevention measures:
- Wear a mask over your nose and mouth
- Stay at least 6 feet away from others
- Avoid crowds
- Avoid poorly ventilated spaces
- Wash your hands often
The Food and Drug Administration authorized emergency use of the COVID-19 vaccine produced by Pfizer and BioNTech on Dec. 11. It's administered in two doses three weeks apart and has been demonstrated to be 95 percent effective in clinical trials.
A week later, the FDA formally authorized a second vaccine -- developed by Moderna -- for emergency use. It has been found to be 94 percent effective at preventing the disease. Unlike the Pfizer vaccine, Moderna's product does not need to be stored at extremely low temperatures, potentially making it accessible for more communities.
In late December, Indiana began vaccinating frontline health care workers and long-term care facility residents and staff. The IDH opened registration to the general public on Jan. 8, with Hoosiers age 80 and older. Until Monday, the vaccines elegibility was limited to those 70 and older.