Indiana expands COVID-19 vaccine eligibility

Indiana has expanded COVID-19 vaccine eligibility, allowing inoculations for anyone age 70 and up.

The move, announced Wednesday by Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb, came one week after state officials expanded vaccine eligibility to people age 80 and up.

Eligible people can register for a vaccine at or by calling 211. As of Wednesday morning, the state’s registration website had been updated to reflect the change in age requirements.

According to U.S. Census Bureau estimates for 2019, 1,794 or 4% of Jackson County’s 44,321 residents were over the age of 80 and another 3,248 or 7.34% were between 70 and 79.

It is not yet known when eligibility will expand to other age groups.

"It is our goal to expand eligibility as quickly as possible," said Dr. Lindsay Weaver, chief medical officer for the Indiana State Department of Health. "The demand for vaccines is incredibly high."

Much like when vaccines opened to people age 80 and up, reports surfaced of overwhelmed phone lines and more than an hourlong wait on the state’s registration website and phone system to schedule an appointment.

As of 2:45 p.m. Wednesday afternoon, 59,723 people age 70 and up had made appointments, state health officials said. Nearly 100,000 Hoosiers age 80 and up have a scheduled appointment over the past weekend.

During a press briefing Wednesday, state health officials urged Hoosiers to be patient as they await their turn.

“It’s almost like a gold rush,” Holcomb said.

Nearly one month into the vaccination campaign, just 9.3 million people in the United States had received their first shot out of about 26.7 million doses distributed as of Wednesday morning, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

While that is believed to be an undercount because of lags in reporting, health officials are still well behind where they had expected to be, The Associated Press reported.

Experts say as much as 85% of the population may need to be vaccinated to vanquish the outbreak, or roughly 5.72 million people in Indiana.

As of Wednesday morning, a total of 219,885 people in Indiana had received their first COVID-19 shot, or roughly 3.2% of the state’s population, according to the ISDH.

Additionally, 40,281 people have received their second dose and are considered fully vaccinated against COVID-19, or less than 1% of Hoosiers.

In Jackson County, 1,208 people have received their first dose, or about 2.7% of the county population, and 242 people have received the second dose, or 0.5% of the county’s population, state figures show.

Twenty-four states and the District of Columbia had distributed more vaccines per capita than Indiana as of Tuesday, according to the most recent figures from the CDC.

Indiana had administered 35.5% of the doses it has received, 28th highest out of 50 states and the District of Columbia over the same time period, according to the CDC.

[sc:pullout-title pullout-title=”How to register for a vaccine online” ][sc:pullout-text-begin]

Here is how to schedule an appointment on a computer for a COVID-19 vaccine:

  • Visit
  • Select "Click here to find a vaccination site and register" located near the top of the website with a red background.
  • On the right-hand side of the page, select the blue arrow to the right of "Jackson."
  • A drop-down menu will appear with "Jackson County Local Health Department."
  • Once one option is selected, a small blue box that says "vaccine clinic" will appear on a map of Indiana in the middle of the screen.
  • Click on "Click here to register" to continue.
  • Follow the remaining prompts to confirm eligibility and schedule an appointment.