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Gary's Health Commissioner Dr. Roland Walker received a vaccination

Indiana increases eligible groups to receive COVID-19 vaccinations

Contributed By:The 411 News

To get COVID-19 vaccine, register online or call 211

Indiana has received 579,050 doses of the combined Pfizer and Moderna coronavirus vaccines from the U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services since the December 14 rollout, but has only put shots in the arms of 211,334 individuals, according to the latest report of the CDC's COVID Data Tracker.

Gov. Eric Holcomb updated that number of Hoosiers now vaccinated to 220,000 at Wednesday's press conference. The governor said 40,000 in Indiana have already received second doses.

A day earlier, worried by the continuing surge of the virus and a slower than expected number of vaccinations given, HHS Secretary Alex Azar identified areas for improvement. Azar urged states to change eligibility rules for receiving a vaccine to prevent doses sitting in warehouses and asked states to improve vaccination data reporting systems.

So more people can get vaccinated, Azar said HHS is releasing its stockpile of vaccines it was holding back to ensure people could get the second dose. Secretary Azar said manufacturers have assured the federal government that they can satisfy the demand for increased vaccine production.

Health care workers and residents of long-term healthcare facilities were Indiana's first priority for vaccinations. Last week, when Gov. Holcomb announced "It's Our Shot Hoosiers" vaccination public awareness campaign, first responders and people over age 80 were added to the eligibility list.

At Wednesday's coronavirus update, Gov. Holcomb said the age eligibility now includes those age 70 and over.

Indiana residents who are newly eligible and want the vaccination must register with the Indiana State Dept. of Health. Because the vaccines must be stored at specific temperatures, appointments are required.

Registrations can only be made online at or by calling 211, Indiana's information and referral service.

Every county in the state has a vaccination clinic; Lake County has 8.

During Wednesday's coronavirus update, Dr. Kristina Box, Indiana State Health Commissioner said, "The state has scheduled 455,000 appointments with 22,000 scheduled for today. At times, the heavy volume of those registering has been overwhelming."

Dr. Box suggested trying to register early in the day or at late off-peak times. Hours for 211 call registration is 8am to 8pm. "If clinics in your county are not accepting appointments, look for openings in an adjacent county," Dr. Box said.

Clinic locations can be found at; click on the "Find A Vaccination Site" tab.

In Gary, Health Commissioner Roland Walker said the Gary Health Department is helping to register and schedule vaccine appointments for eligible groups; call (219) 318-0675.

This phase of Indiana’s distribution plan targets high risk populations including people who are at particular risk of hospitalization and death to COVID-19.

Other eligible groups will be added as more vaccines becomes available.

President-elect Joe Biden has said his aim is to vaccinate 100 million Americans in the first 100 days of his presidency.

Story Posted:01/13/2021

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