Indiana, Michigan reveal more vaccine rollout details
Ind., Mich.-- In the state of Indiana, the second phase of the rollout plan was targeted at vaccinating infrastructure workers and other groups. However, during Governor Eric Holcomb’s weekly coronavirus update on Wednesday, a change to Phase 1B plans was announced.
Along with those already eligible in Phase 1A to receive a vaccine, such as healthcare workers, first responders, and those workings in long-term care facilities, folks aged 80 and older are now being added into the mix for Indiana.
“The goal is to identify people most at risk,” St. Joseph Deputy Health Officer Dr. Mark Fox said. “So, this next phase will focus on age 80 and older a lot of those obviously already living in long term care facilities so they’re eligible but may have not have received it yet because that rollout has been progressing.”
According to the Indiana Department of Health, this age group accounts for less than 4 percent of Indiana’s population, but represents close to 20 percent of COVID-19 deaths in the state. So far, out of the 350,000 vaccine doses shipped, hospitals have vaccinated 300,000 qualified individuals.
Rollout plans in the near future will add people in their 70’s and 60’s when vaccine supplies expand.
“I do feel like at the local level we have been keeping pace with immunizations according to the allocation of doses we are receiving,” Dr. Fox said.
The state of Michigan meanwhile, also jumping into a newer, faster phase. This phase combines 1B and 1C, meaning those 65 and up, teachers, childcare providers, and jail and prison staff can all now get the shot.
In Berrien County, they’re still trying to take care of the Phase 1A group.
“At this time, Berrien County Health Department remains focused on finishing vaccinations for phase 1A and will be adding additional appointments for vaccination for those next priority phases as they become available,” Berrien County Health Department Communications Manager Gillian Conrad said. “The health department here in Berrien County has only received 1 shipment of vaccine to our department. We are working our way through that shipment and are slated to run out vaccine in a short order. We do not have enough vaccine on hand currently to move to everyone in that next phase that was announced by our governor.”
In the future, the state hopes to move towards the other part of 1C, immunizing other essential workers and anyone aged 16 or older if they’re at high risk, and eventually Phase 2 to the general public 16 and up. But for right now, patience is key.
“We only just started doing vaccination clinics last week so you know, we’re very new to this still in the grand scheme of things but we are working to vaccinate people as quickly as we possibly can,” Conrad said.