Indiana announced Wednesday it would not be extending vaccine registration to the next age group – 60 and older – this week. But health officials outlined what the phase after that looks like.
Once appropriate vaccine supplies are available, the Indiana Department of Health will incrementally extend eligibility to both Hoosiers 50 and older as well as those with five specific comorbidities – conditions that make COVID-19 more deadly. Dr. Lindsey Weaver, IDOH chief medical officer, said that decision was made with the state’s vaccine advisory committee.
"We know that these categories do not include all Hoosiers who have conditions that could put them at greater risk from COVID. But we are working to expand to those most at risk as quickly as our vaccine supplies allow us to do so," Weaver said.
Those comorbidities are active dialysis patients, Hoosiers with Down syndrome, post-solid organ transplant recipients, sickle cell disease patients, and people in treatment for cancers now or in the last three months, or with active primary lung cancer or active hematologic cancers, like lymphoma, leukemia or multiple myeloma.
Join the conversation and sign up for the Indiana Two-Way. Text "Indiana" to 73224. Your comments and questions in response to our weekly text help us find the answers you need on COVID-19 and other statewide issues.
More than 850,000 Hoosiers are over the age of 50. And the comorbidities add 51,000 to that group.
Weaver said, depending on the vaccine supply, the state will continue opening eligibility in five-year increments by age group. For Hoosiers with comorbidities, it’ll likely be a rolling process, with direct outreach from primary care providers.
“Those list of comorbidities, by the nature of their disease, have to be pretty plugged in with providers.”
Weaver said she’s hopeful Indiana’s vaccine supplies would see some significant increases as Johnson and Johnson submits its vaccine for emergency use authorization.