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Indiana Opens Vaccine Registration To Hoosiers 50 And Older, Second Expansion This Week

Monroe Co COVID vaccination

Monroe County vaccination site Bloomington, IN (Joey Mendolia WFIU/WTIU News)

The Indiana Dept. of Health lowered the minimum age to receive the COVID-19 vaccine to 50 years old Wednesday, just one day after allowing those at age 55 and up to register.

The addition of the new Johnson & Johnson vaccine helped Indiana lower eligibility twice within two days. Dr. Lindsay Weaver, IDOH chief medical officer, said the J&J vaccine also enabled the state to create three mass vaccination sites in the coming days.

“What’s most important to understand is that all three vaccines are highly effective and successful at preventing hospitalizations and deaths – and those are the results we want to see with any vaccine,” Weaver said.

State Health Commissioner Dr. Kris Box said she’s cautiously optimistic the state will be able to continue quickly expanding eligibility.

“I would really be thinking that by mid to late March, we’re to [age] 40 and above,” Box said.

Box said the state will also be adding more comorbidities to the eligibility guidelines, but that list isn’t yet available.

READ MORE: Indiana Vaccine-Eligible Population Now Includes Those With Health Conditions

Indiana surpassed the 1 million vaccine milestone Monday, with nearly 610,000 Hoosiers fully vaccinated Wednesday.

Health officials say expansion of eligibility makes the vaccine available to an additional 412,000 Hoosiers. Hoosiers 50 and older account for 35 percent of the state's population, but 98 percent of its COVID-19 deaths and 80 percent of hospitalizations.

Here's how to register for the vaccine:

1. Visit the IDOH vaccine map, found here.

2. Find your county on the map or the list on the right side of the page.

3. When you select your county, you will see a list of vaccine clinics. For example, in Monroe County, there are currently nine places where you can register to receive the vaccine.

4. Choose a location that is most convenient for you by clicking the name of the location. You will see a pop-up box titled "Vaccine Clinic" -- click the arrow on the right side of the pop-up box. That will take you to a new web page where you can register for that location. You will be asked to enter your birth date to verify that you are 50 or older.

Having trouble registering?

Dial 211 from any phone for assistance from the IDOH.

READ MORE: How Will Indiana Distribute COVID-19 Vaccines? Here's What You Need To Know

Appointments for the second dose will be made at the clinic when the first dose is administered. The state health department encouraged Hoosiers who may struggle finding an appointment to look at sites in other counties.

This post has been updated. Lauren Chapman and Brandon Smith contributed to this story.

For the latest news and resources about COVID-19, bookmark our Coronavirus In Indiana page here

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