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IUPUI epidemiologist on vaccine rollout: 'It's a race against time and against this virus'

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Posted at 10:03 PM, Mar 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-23 22:21:49-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Three months ago, the first COVID-19 vaccines went into the arms of front line workers in Indianapolis. Now, the state’s COVID-19 vaccination dashboard details almost one million Hoosiers fully vaccinated.

One local public health expert believes what is next will all depend on the vaccine allocation.

On Tuesday, Gov. Eric Holcomb announced all eligible Hoosiers ages 16 and older would be able to sign up for the vaccine starting March 31st.

Epidemiologist Thomas Duszynski, with the Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health at IUPUI, said it is a footrace between getting shots in arms and another possible surge. He added the state needs to continue vaccinating at the current rate or increase it as more vaccines before available.

“I think we’re definitely heading in the right direction," Duszynski said. I know the state really accelerated the age groups that are now becoming eligible to get the vaccine and that is all predicating on the fact that we’re getting more vaccines in the state.”

He said it's important to pay attention to how other countries are controlling the virus, adding it is not a good sign some European countries are seeing a rise in cases once again.

Duszynski said he thinks of all Hoosiers who want to get vaccinated, actually being vaccinated by late spring or early summer is attainable.

“It’s on this idea of we have all of the other things in place, we just need vaccine. So, I think it is realistic from that sense. I also think we want to be hesitant in terms of not jumping the gun here and not taking our masks off too early and getting together too early," Duszynski said. "There’s still a lot to learn about this virus. There’s still a lot to learn about how this vaccine works against this virus,”