INDIANAPOLIS — As COVID-19 vaccine eligibility increases in Indiana, so do the number of people trying to get vaccinated, which can lead to longer wait times for appointments.
On Monday, the state made Indiana residents as young as age 30 the green light to register, and all Hoosiers 16 and older can sign up for the vaccine beginning Wednesday.
This is good news, but it also makes signing up more complicated. It's something Jonathan Mirgeaux experienced first-hand.
"It was pretty backed up," Mirgeaux said.
As soon as his age group was eligible, Mirgeaux got online to register for the COVID-19 vaccine. However, trying to find appointments in Indianapolis proved to be difficult.
"Previous age groups in and near downtown in particular, I saw a lot of those filled when hit you 45+ and particularly 40+ and then you're like two weeks, three weeks backed up," Mirgeaux said.
He wanted to get vaccinated as soon as possible. Waiting two to three weeks did not work with his plan, so he pivoted.
"I was looking potentially at how far I needed to go outside of town to find some availability," Mirgeaux said. "The nearest place I found with ample availability was in Rush County."
If you have the means to do it, Mirgeaux says looking outside your city or county could mean a chance of getting vaccinated sooner rather than later.
"There's a misconception about you need to get the vaccination in the county you live in," Mirgeaux said. "That doesn't appear to be the case in Indiana."
If you don't have the time or resources to drive outside of your hometown to get vaccinated, you're not out of luck. Smaller communities are getting creative to make the vaccine more accessible.
The Brown County Music Center in Nashville, Indiana, is currently serving as a COVID-19 vaccination site.
The Putnam County Health Department, partnering with DePauw University and Hendricks Regional Health, will have a COVID-19 mass vaccination clinic Friday, April 2 at DePauw's campus.
Mobile vaccine clinics are also being offered.
In Marion County, local churches and other organizations are bringing doses directly into communities that might not be close to hospital, health centers, or pharmacies. Those clinics will be announced with enough time to let residents make arrangements to get there.
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway will also host mass vaccination clinics on April 1-3, 13-18 and 24-30.
"They're coming into the neighborhoods where the people are as opposed to individuals having to go long distances in order to access services," Dr. Virginia Caine, Marion County Public Health Department Director, said. "It highlights how critical partnerships are really making a difference in the community."
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.