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Indiana Officials Say Some Special Educators Can Get Their COVID-19 Vaccine Now

A healthcare worker receives a dose of the Pfizer covid-19 vaccine.

Indiana's health commissioner says special educators and aides who perform medical-type services for students with disabilities can get their vaccine now. (Courtesy of IU Health)

Indiana is the only state in the region with no plans for when teachers will become widely eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, but the state's health commissioner says a specific group of special educators should get their shots now. 

The state is prioritizing vaccine eligibility based on risk of serious illness or death, and is working down by age. Eligibility will open to Hoosiers 50 years or older, and others with certain health conditions in the coming weeks. 

READ MORE: Once Vaccine Supply Allows It, Indiana Outlines What Next Steps Of Rollout Look Like

But while most teachers eagerly wait for more information about when they'll be eligible to get their shot, Health Commissioner Dr. Kris Box clarified at this week's COVID-19 press conference that aides or special educators both in close contact with students and providing medical type care can get theirs now. 

"In some of our smaller schools or more rural schools they may be doing all of that for that individual student, and under those circumstances I would most certainly want them to get vaccinated," she said. 

Officials have urged people to be patient while the state rolls out a limited supply of vaccines, but teachers have asked Box and the governor to move them further up in line. 

READ MORE: You Asked: What Is IU's Plan To Combat COVID Variants?

Meanwhile, neighboring states including Illinois, Ohio, Kentucky, and Michigan have already started vaccinating teachers.

Contact reporter Jeanie at jlindsa@iu.edu or follow her on Twitter at @jeanjeanielindz.

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

Want to contact your legislators about an issue that matters to you? Find out how to contact your senators and member of Congress here.

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