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IU Health Anticipates Changes To 65 And Older For Vaccinations

The IU health logo.

(Courtesy of IU Health)

IU Health has given the first COVID-19 vaccine shot to more than 40,000 Hoosiers, including 6,700 in Monroe County and 1,000 in Orange County.

The shots have gone to health care and emergency workers and people over 80 years old. IU Health South Central Region President Brian Schockney said Tuesday that group could soon expand based on a Centers for Disease Control recommendation that states open the vaccines to everyone 65 and older.

Shockney said he wants to get people vaccinated as soon as possible but it is challenging keeping up with the changing guidelines. The state just opened shots to people 80 and over last Friday, so changing the guidelines again brings a lot of challenges, he said.

“Where’s the vaccine is coming from when you don’t have it, how many more sites are we going to open up, what’s the state’s response to all of that?” he asked.

He said he expected to learn more on a call later Tuesday with state health officials. He said twice a week calls with Indiana Department of Health officials helps determine next steps when national guidelines change.

 “It’s a continuous reaction,” he said. “The CDC puts out guidelines, then we have to interpret them based on what we have available, what we can do, our resources we have …”

Shockney said he’s not worried at this time about the new strain of the virus that was recently discovered in Indiana, as long as people continue with the precautions that have become well know – wash your hands, wear a mask, stay six feet apart.

 “It’s not going to change anything for us,” he said. “There’s nothing that indicates this vaccine isn’t going to be effective for it anyway.”

Shockney said the vaccination process continues to go smoothly, with IU Health hospitals in Bloomington and Paoli using every dose of the vaccine they get. He said 600 people were given their first shot of the vaccine in Bloomington on Monday alone. A second shot is required 21 to 28 days after the initial vaccination, and protection from COVID will not come until a couple weeks after that.

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

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