Indiana not yet broadening COVID-19 vaccine eligibility

Indiana health officials aren’t ready to start a further expansion of coronavirus vaccine eligibility as they said Thursday that the state isn’t receiving enough doses from the federal government to take such steps.

Posted: Jan 22, 2021 8:24 AM

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana health officials aren’t ready to start a further expansion of coronavirus vaccine eligibility as they said Thursday that the state isn’t receiving enough doses from the federal government to take such steps.

Indiana has made vaccinations available so far to health care workers and those ages 70 and older since the first shots started being given in early December.

State Health Commissioner Dr. Kristina Box said vaccination appointments will next open up for about 350,000 Indiana residents between ages 65 and 70.

“Right now, we are unable to predict when that will happen,” Box said. “We find out on a Tuesday, what our allocation for that week is, and we work based on those numbers. For now, we continue to get about 78 to 80,000 doses weekly.”

Many state officials across the country accused the Trump administration last week of deceiving them about the amount of COVID-19 vaccine they could plan on receiving after it became clear no national stockpile was available. President Joe Biden has said he will emphasize boosting vaccine supplies.

Neither Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb nor his top heath advisers criticized the Trump administration’s rollout during his coronavirus briefing Thursday.

“We had started to make plans to ramp up but hadn’t put any of those things into place quite yet, so we just adjusted back to what our original plan was based on what we were expecting which is that close to 80,000 doses a week,” said Dr. Lindsay Weaver, the health department’s chief medical officer.

About 362,000 people have received at least the first of the two-shot immunization so far in Indiana, according to state health department figures updated Thursday. That is about 40% of the nearly 900,000 of the state’s 6.7 million residents now eligible for the vaccine.

Health officials said vaccination appointments are largely filled through the end of January.

Box said vaccination sites throughout the state have “the ability to dramatically increase the number of vaccines that they could do each day if they just had the supply.”

The health department has added 391 coronavirus deaths in the past week to the state’s pandemic toll, which has reached nearly 9,600 fatalities including both confirmed and presumed COVID-19 infections. The state’s seven-day rolling average of COVID-19 deaths has declined to about 50 per day after peaking at 86 a day in mid-December.

The state health department’s updated weekly tracking map labels 34 of Indiana’s 92 counties at the highest risk level for coronavirus spread, down from 73 last week as the state’s COVID-19 hospitalizations and rate of new infections have declined since peaking in early December. All other counties but one are in the next-riskiest rating of the four-level system.

Holcomb said he was extending through next week his executive order imposing crowd size limits based on each county’s risk level. He has been extending that order, which includes the statewide mask mandate, by at least three-week intervals but said he wanted to keep reviewing the risk around the state.

“We don’t want to get ahead of ourselves, we still have most counties in red,” Holcomb said. “And so while I may be giddy right now just looking at trends and trajectories, we’re still over double digits of the positivity rate, and we’re still losing people, and so we want to make sure that we do this in a very responsible data-driven way.”

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Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 926604

Reported Deaths: 15083
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1262201958
Lake626901087
Allen52772747
Hamilton43283445
St. Joseph41475584
Elkhart33129488
Vanderburgh29927439
Tippecanoe26589247
Johnson23267415
Hendricks21902340
Porter21473341
Clark17150224
Madison17065379
Vigo15815273
Monroe14298190
LaPorte14108237
Delaware13771219
Howard13635262
Kosciusko11232134
Hancock10637160
Warrick10523176
Bartholomew10341167
Floyd10200202
Wayne9690218
Grant8939196
Morgan8734158
Boone8299109
Dubois7596123
Henry7469128
Dearborn745187
Noble7294101
Marshall7237128
Cass7097117
Lawrence6862150
Shelby6457107
Jackson643981
Gibson6036106
Harrison595585
Huntington591891
Montgomery5706102
DeKalb563591
Knox537599
Miami531983
Clinton527164
Putnam525367
Whitley516251
Steuben486367
Wabash477492
Jasper471961
Jefferson461991
Ripley444175
Adams439365
Daviess4064106
Scott394963
White386257
Clay382356
Greene380189
Wells379683
Decatur379595
Fayette367176
Posey354941
Jennings346356
Washington325847
LaGrange315774
Spencer313034
Fountain309753
Randolph305487
Sullivan299447
Owen279161
Starke272761
Orange272659
Fulton268851
Jay250634
Perry247451
Carroll241127
Franklin233637
Vermillion229750
Rush228930
Parke215220
Tipton206754
Pike202538
Blackford165634
Pulaski158751
Crawford142818
Newton140742
Benton139816
Brown132646
Martin126916
Switzerland123510
Warren113416
Union93511
Ohio77211
Unassigned0468

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