INDIANAPOLIS — As of Wednesday, Hoosiers age 16 and older are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine.
Experts hope college students get vaccinated because nationwide, young people ages 18-29 make up the most disproportionate amount of new coronavirus cases — 22.3% — while they account for only 16.4 percent of the population, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
IU sophomore Josheta Srinivasan sees first-hand why this is happening.
"I know that a lot of people go out all the time and the risk of spreading it is much greater because we're so mobile," Srinivasan said. "Have you been over to Kirkwood on a Saturday night? There's so many people out there."
Srinivasan says she and her circle of friends try to be careful as possible.
"We only hang out with each other and we get tested twice a week on campus, so I feel safe doing that," Srinivasan said.
However, she can't speak for other students who she sees out and about, following COVID-19 guidelines to varying degrees. It's why she's going to get vaccinated as soon as she can.
Many of Srinivasan's friends have already gotten vaccinated. That, along with talking to her family and reminders from IU also helped convince her to get the shot.
IU's reminders to students are part of a broader push by universities that have announced on-campus vaccine clinics. They encourage students to take part in it but stop short of making it a requirement. Young people are also being encouraged to get vaccinated as they scroll through social media.
IU senior Micah Bachrach explains.
"I've seen a few TikToks explaining why young people should get vaccinated," Bachrach said. "Some people were like you should save it for the older people who need it first but then I heard people explaining that if you can get vaccinated, you should get vaccinated. The faster everyone can get vaccinated, the faster everyone can go back to a normal life."
After seeing videos online and having conversations with his friends and family, Bachrach got vaccinated. He received his shot in his home state of Ohio, signing up to be notified when there were extra doses available. Bachrach's advice to his peers is simple: get vaccinated when you can.
"Young people are the ones who are, in a sense, the most like, 'We want to have life back. We want to go party.' Get vaccinated so we can actually do that," Bachrach said.
To schedule a COVID-19 vaccination through the state, call 211 or go to ourshot.in.gov. You can also go directly through a retail pharmacy that offers the vaccine like Meijer, Walmart, Kroger, or CVS.