INDIANAPOLIS — At 7:40 a.m. Tuesday, the Indiana Department of Health announced that free COVID-19 vaccinations were now open to Hoosiers 60 and older, expanding those eligible by an additional 432,000.
And the public response to the news was swift.
Within just 3 hours of the announcement, the department reported nearly 63,000 Hoosiers ages 60-64 had already signed up for their first shots. That number jumped to 91,000 (32 percent of that age group) after 8 hours,
On Tuesday, the IDOH said a total of 905,236 Hoosiers have received a first dose of vaccine, and 459,603 are fully vaccinated.
To help with the demand, the IDOH will host 10 vaccine clinics for eligible Hoosiers around the state, including one in La Porte County, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday this week. The clinics are being added to areas where there are currently no open vaccine appointments, the department said.
According to the La Porte County Health Department, the mobile unit in La Porte County will be at the Ivy Tech parking lot, 3714 Franklin St., Michigan City. Appointments are required. Registration can be secured by visiting www.ourshot.in.gov or by calling 211.
Other COVID-19 vaccine sites include: the La Porte County Fairgrounds, Franciscan Health Michigan City, HealthLinc offices in Michigan City and La Porte, and Meijer and Walmart in Michigan City.
In addition, there are other agencies assisting people to secure an appointment on the ourshot.in.gov website such as Real Services and La Porte County Public Library.
Currently eligibility criteria:
Indiana residents 60 years of age or older
Healthcare workers who live in Indiana, or who can show proof they work in Indiana, and have face-to-face interactions with patients or contact with infectious material in a healthcare setting
First responders who are firefighters, police officers or sheriff’s deputies, Emergency Medical Services, reservists, or correctional officers who live in Indiana, or show proof they work in Indiana, and who are regularly called to the scene of an emergency to give medical aid.
If you have been diagnosed with COVID-19 you must be out of your 10-day isolation period in order to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. There is no longer a 90-day waiting period.
Out-of-state residents who received their first dose in Indiana can still receive their second dose at the same clinic.
According to the IDOH, Indiana has prioritized healthcare workers, first responders and those who are most vulnerable in its vaccine rollout due to limited supplies. Individuals age 60 and older account for more than 22 percent of the state’s population but 64 percent of the COVID-19 hospitalizations and 93.3 percent of the deaths.
Also Tuesday, the IDOH reported that 716 additional Hoosiers have been diagnosed with COVID-19 through testing at state and private laboratories. That brings to 657,037 the number of Indiana residents now known to have had the novel coronavirus.
A total of 12,025 Hoosiers are confirmed to have died from COVID-19, an increase of 44 from the previous day. Another 425 probable deaths have been reported.
There were 4 new cases reported in La Porte County on Tuesday, raising the local totals to 9,720 infected and 194 dead, according to the IDOH.
To date, 3,088,729 unique individuals have been tested in Indiana, up from 3,085,554 on Monday. A total of 7,815,751 tests, including repeat tests for unique individuals, have been reported to the state Department of Health since Feb. 26, 2020.
To find testing sites around the state, visit www.corona virus.in.gov and click on the COVID-19 testing information link.