What you should know about COVID-19 this week

Who is eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine?

State officials on Wednesday announced that Hoosiers 50 and older are now eligible for the vaccine. The announcement came just one day after the state opened up the vaccine to those 55 to 59.

With the expansion, 35% of all Hoosiers are now eligible for the vaccine.

Hoosiers 50 and older account for 80% of all COVID-19 hospitalizations and 97% of all COVID-19 deaths, according to state data.

The state was able to expand eligibility because it will receive 54,000 Johnson & Johnson vaccines, said Dr. Lindsay Weaver, state medical examiner.

The state also receives about 145,000 doses weekly of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

Vaccine appointments for this newly eligible population will be available in the next several weeks to align with expected vaccine deliveries to the state, officials said.

Hoosiers are encouraged to schedule an appointment at one of three mass vaccination clinics scheduled this month at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Ivy Tech Community College in Sellersburg and the University of Notre Dame.

Half of the new Johnson & Johnson doses — about 21,000 — are allocated to the three mass vaccination clinics. Remaining doses will be given to other vaccination sites, officials said.

How do I get an appointment if I have certain health conditions?

Hoosiers who have certain health conditions, regardless of age, are also eligible for the vaccine but cannot register on the state dashboard.

Doctors will share contact information with the state. The Indiana State Department of Health will personally contact cancer patients, post-solid organ transplant recipients and Hoosiers with the following conditions: active dialysis, sickle cell disease and Down syndrome.

Who is up next for the vaccine?

The next group of Hoosiers eligible for the vaccine will be Hoosiers in their 40s. Eligibility will open up to this group incrementally, officials said.

Hoosiers in this group would account for 91% of all Hoosiers with co-morbidities that put them at increased risk for death or hospitalization from COVID-19.

When are teachers getting vaccinated?


Gov. Eric Holcomb on Wednesday said President Joe Biden told governors he is planning to allocate vaccine doses for teachers from the Federal Pharmacy Program. Holcomb did not have a timeline Wednesday for when those will be available, he said.

Once the state receives those doses, teachers of all ages could get a vaccine at participating Kroger, Walmart, Meijer and Sam’s Club stores in Johnson County.

The Biden administration’s move to vaccinate teachers would likely get doses to teachers faster than Holcomb’s age-based approach.

Without the additional doses specifically for teachers, about 50% of teachers could be vaccinated when eligibility expands to Hoosiers 40 and older, officials said.

How is the county hospital doing this week?

Johnson Memorial Hospital has gone more than a week without a new COVID-19 admission, said Dr. David Dunkle, Johnson Memorial Health president and CEO. This is the longest stretch the hospital has gone without COVID-19 patients since September.