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Indiana expands COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to individuals 50 and older

Governor Eric Holcomb announced that Hoosiers 50 and older can now make appointments to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, initially those 55 and older were eligible.

INDIANA, USA — This is a weekly blog with daily updates on COVID-19 numbersCOVID vaccine and other related content across Indiana for the week of March 1, 2021. Governor Eric Holcomb does a live briefing at 2:30 p.m. on Wednesdays.

Sunday, March 7

The state is reporting 748 new COVID-19 cases. That brings the total number of Hoosiers to have confirmed cases since the pandemic began to 667,262.   

There were also an additional 11 deaths bringing the death toll to 12,310 Hoosiers.                       

To date, there have been 8,242,367 total COVID-19 tests administered with a 3.2 percent positivity rate in the last 7 day period.

Saturday, March 6

The state is reporting 1,243 new COVID-19 cases. That brings the total number of Hoosiers to have confirmed cases since the pandemic began to 666,516.

There were also an additional 36 deaths bringing the death toll to 12,299 Hoosiers.                         

To date, there have been 8,212,940 total COVID-19 tests administered with a 3.2 percent positivity rate in the last 7 day period. 

Friday, March 5

Indiana officials are reporting 879 new positive cases of COVID-19 and 32 deaths. Since the pandemic, 12,263 Hoosiers have died and there has been 665,285 positive tests.

At this time, over 1,088,400 doses have been administered and 657,741 Hoosiers have been fully vaccinated.

Thursday, March 4

The state is reporting 962 new cases of COVID-19 for a total of 664,446 confirmed cases since the pandemic began.                                                     

There were also 32 additional deaths bringing the state's death toll to 12,231.

Wednesday, March 3

2:30 p.m.

Gov. Eric Holcomb and state health leaders gave an update on the state's response to the pandemic.                   

Holcomb announced the COVID-19 vaccine is now open to Hoosiers 50 and older. 

Earlier this week, the state announced that residents 55 and older were eligible for the vaccine. 

Hoosiers age 50-59 are 30 times more likely to die of COVID-19 than those 20-29. They are also four times more likely to be hospitalized with the illness than those in the 20-29 age group.

Residents in that age group account for 35.3% of all Hoosiers.

As vaccine becomes more available, the next group to be vaccinated is those aged 40 and over. Indiana State Health Commissioner Dr. Kristina Box says she expects that to happen in mid to late March. 

"March will be a key month for most of the country, but especially in Indiana with the rate we are going," Holcomb said.

Holcomb discussed the federal pharmacy program that will help get teachers vaccinated. He said he does not yet have specific answers on how many doses the state will receive that will go to pharmacies that will vaccinate teachers who are not yet age-eligible to go to state vaccination sites.

Those vaccines will be available at Kroger, Meijer and Walmart pharmacies. Teachers will need to register directly through those pharmacies and will not be able to schedule an appointment through the state health department's website or by calling 211. The state will still keep track of those vaccines on its vaccine dashboard.

Since last week, more than 110,000 people have received the first dose of the vaccine. Indiana State Health Commissioner Dr. Kristina Box said the state is making steady improvements in getting the vaccine to more people.

Additionally, the state's positivity rate is now at 3.5%, the lowest since late September 2020.

Box said there are still approximately 300 testing sites around the state, despite the declining number of cases. Testing sites will remain important given the arise of new variants of the virus.

The state has been told not to expect additional doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine over the next three weeks, meaning the state will depend on the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine after the initial shipment of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Noon

The Indiana State Department of Health is reporting 786 more positive cases of COVID-19 and nine additional deaths Wednesday. The state has recorded a total of 663,511 positive cases and 12,200 confirmed deaths since the start of the pandemic. 

Governor Eric Holcomb is expected to provide the state's weekly COVID-19 brief at 2:30 p.m. Watch live on our website and Facebook.

Tuesday, March 2

ISDH is reporting 582 new COVID-19 cases and 31 additional deaths.

Hoosiers 55 and older can now register to get the COVID-19 vaccine. The state is also allowing patients identified as highest risk for severe illness from COVID-19 by their health care provider. Those include:

  • Active dialysis patients
  • Sickle cell disease patients
  • Down syndrome
  • Post-solid organ transplant
  • People who are actively in treatment (chemotherapy, radiation, surgery) for cancer now or in the last three months, or with active primary lung cancer or active hematologic cancers (lymphoma, leukemia and multiple myeloma)

Monday, March 1

Indiana reported 555 new cases of COVID-19 for a total of 662,213 confirmed cases since the pandemic began.

There were also an additional 20 deaths reported. The state death toll is now at 12,162.

Indiana has now given more than 1 million vaccine shots. The Indiana State Health Department announced Monday that more than 1 million Hoosiers had received their first shots since late December.

As of 10 a.m. Monday, the state reported 1,000,321 individuals had received their first shot, while 569,465 people are fully vaccinated.

________________

As of Sunday, 992,727 Hoosiers have received a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and 565,722 are fully vaccinated. 

To schedule a COVID-19 vaccine, visit https://ourshot.in.gov or call 211 if you do not have access to a computer or require assistance.

Friday, Indiana revealed its 'Homebound Hoosiers' program to vaccinate Hoosiers who can't get to clinics.

They're also launching mobile units statewide in a collaboration with the Indiana National Guard to get more Hoosiers vaccinated. The units were deployed to 10 counties where nearly all available vaccine appointments were booked for several weeks in order to provide additional access. 

Dr. Klaus Boel, Chief Medical Officer at Clark Memorial Health, said additional mobile clinics are a trend Hoosiers will continue to see.

Homebound Hoosiers: Indiana health officials hit the road to vaccinate those who can't get to a site

Mobile vaccination sites open in Indiana

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