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COVID-19 vaccines in Indiana: Everything you need to know

Poll Finds A Third Of Americans Won’t Get A COVID-19 Vaccine
Posted at 5:26 PM, Dec 09, 2020
and last updated 2021-01-13 15:44:20-05

INDIANAPOLIS — The first doses of the COVID-19 vaccines will start arriving in Indiana any day now, according to state officials.

You can see how many have been administered in Indiana here. The dashboard is expected to be updated at 12 p.m. EST every Wednesday.

On Dec. 11, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the nation's first COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech for emergency use. The first doses of the vaccine began shipping across the country on Dec. 13.

Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine received emergency use authorization from the FDA on Dec. 18.

WRTV is answering your questions and helping to keep you informed as we navigate the next stage of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Who will get the vaccine and when?
On Jan. 13, the state health department announced Hoosiers age 70 and older can begin scheduling appointments to receive their COVID-19 vaccine.

Starting at 8 a.m. on Jan. 8, Hoosiers over the age of 80 can sign up to get vaccinated. You can learn more here.

The state will start vaccinating people in age groups, but it's not clear when those under 80 will start getting vaccinated.

Healthcare workers and those at particular risk of morbidity and mortality with COVID-19 are the first to get vaccinated.

Vaccinations started on Dec. 14 in Indiana and IU Health Methodist Hospital began receiving doses of the Pfizer vaccine on Dec. 16.

People at an elevated risk of transmitting COVID-19 because their living or working situations, including people in correctional facilities, group homes or shelters, and essential workers, are in the state's second group to get vaccinated.

The third group is when the general public will start receiving vaccinations.

Where can I get the vaccine?
For the general public, this information hasn't been released yet. But doses of the vaccine will ship to five hospitals first, with a total of 50 hospitals expected to receive doses by the end of the year.

The first five hospitals are:

  • Clark Memorial Health in Jeffersonville
  • Deaconess Hospital in Evansville
  • IU Health Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis
  • Community Hospital in Munster
  • Parkview Health in Fort Wayne

CVS and Walgreens are working with the state to vaccinated residents of long-term care facilities.

As the state gets more doses and is able to vaccinate more people, we should also hear more about this.

How much will it cost?
COVID-19 vaccines in Indiana will be free for patients, according to the state health department. Providers can bill your insurance for an administration fee, but they won't be able to charge patients.

If a patient does not have insurance, providers can seek reimbursement from the Health Resources and Services Administration's Provider Relief Fund.

Is it safe for everyone or should certain groups avoid it?
Initially, COVID-19 vaccines will not be available to pregnant women or children, according to the state health department.

Moderna started giving its vaccine to people between the ages of 12 and 18 as part of its study on the vaccine works. The company hopes to have data in spring 2021 supporting the vaccination of adolescents before the next school year.

Pfizer has about 875 people between the ages of 12 and 17 in its trials.

When can kids expect to get vaccinated?
Dr. John Christenson, medical director of infectious disease at Riley Children's Hospital, said there might not be widespread vaccination of children until summer 2021.

MORE INFO | When parents can expect their kids to be able to get the COVID-19 vaccine

Is there anything you can do to get vaccinated sooner?
As of now, it doesn't sound like it. The state is focusing on vaccinating healthcare workers, long-term care facility residents, essential employees, and vulnerable populations.

This answer may change once vaccines are available to the general public and the state gets more doses, but again, it's still unclear and too early to tell at this time.

MORE INFO | READ: Indiana's vaccine plan

Should you leave a gap between flu and COVID-19 vaccines?
We're still looking into this answer and will update this story once we find out.

I've already had COVID-19, should I get a COVID-19 vaccine?
Yes and no. Indiana State Department of Health Chief Medical Officer Dr. Lindsay Weaver said eventually yes, even those who have previously had COVID-19 will be recommended to get the vaccine.

But at first, if you had COVID-19 within 90 days, you may be asked to delay your vaccination.

Will I be able to pick which vaccine I want to get?
Because only two vaccines have been approved for emergency use, no. The state is still working on distribution plans for additional vaccines once they are approved for use.

How many doses are available in Indiana? In the country?
Indiana initially received 55,575 doses of Pfizer's vaccine.

It's important to remember Pfizer's vaccine requires two doses, meaning you'll need to get two doses in order for it to be effective. Some other vaccines will only require one dose.

Can your employer make you get the COVID-19 vaccine?
The answer isn't a simple one. WRTV reporter Stephanie Wade spoke with an employment lawyer about what companies can do.

You can learn more here.

How can I help with vaccination efforts?
The state is working with the Bowen Center to help connect people willing to help with COVID-19 and vaccination efforts and to volunteer opportunities. You can learn more here.

CVS Pharmacy is also hiring 700 licensed pharmacy technicians in Indiana. You learn more here and click here to apply.

What questions do you have about COVID-19 vaccines? Email them to our Real-Time Editor Andrew Smith at andrew.smith@wrtv.com.

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