INDIANAPOLIS — Hoosiers 55 years old and older can now sign up to get COVID-19 vaccines.
The Indiana State Department of Health made that announcement on March 2, along with three mass vaccination sites opening, none of which are particularly near Allen or Whitley counties or four-county area of DeKalb, LaGrange, Noble or Steuben, but one is next door to Elkhart County.
The opening of vaccines to Hoosiers 55-plus comes just a week after the state started signing up people 60-65 and a day after the state passed the mark of 1 million Hoosiers getting at least one vaccine shot.
To schedule a vaccine, visit ourshot.in.gov and select a location from one of more than 370 clinics around the state. Hoosiers who do not have a computer or cell phone or those who need assistance scheduling an appointment can call 211 or contact one of Indiana’s Area Agencies on Aging or AARP. Nearly 70 libraries around the state also are helping Hoosiers schedule their appointments.
Vaccination clinics that are part of the federal vaccine program, including those at Walmart, Sam’s Club and Kroger, appear on the clinic map at ourshot.in.gov but are scheduled through those retailers’ platforms, not through the state centralized system.
The state also announced it will host three mass-vaccination clinics across the state, although you’ll have to do some serious driving from northeast Indiana if you want to go to any of them.
The nearest mass vaccination site to the region is at Notre Dame University in South Bend. The others are taking place in Indianapolis and Sellersburg in southern Indiana.
“Getting tens of thousands of vaccines in arms in a matter of days is a huge undertaking that requires incredible partnerships,” Gov. Eric Holcomb said. “We are incredibly grateful to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Notre Dame and Ivy Tech for their willingness to meet this challenge head-on to help save Hoosier lives.”
The mass vaccination clinics will offer the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which received its Emergency Use Authorization from the federal Food and Drug Administration on Feb. 27. The vaccine requires only one dose and has been shown to be safe and effective at preventing hospitalizations and deaths in clinical trials involving nearly 44,000 participants from all races and ethnicities.
“The Johnson & Johnson vaccine gives eligible Hoosiers a safe, effective and convenient way to protect themselves from COVID-19,” said State Health Commissioner Dr. Kris Box said. “Because it requires just one dose, every shot administered represents a Hoosier who can rest easier, knowing their risk of severe illness from this disease has dropped exponentially.”
The Indiana Department of Health has also begun planning for a future mass vaccination clinic in Gary in collaboration with local health officials. Additional mass vaccination sites in other locations will be planned as more vaccine becomes available.
All clinics will require advance registration through ourshot.in.gov or by calling 211. Proof of age and residency will be required. The mass vaccination clinics are listed as sites that eligible Hoosiers can select when making an appointment. No walk-ups will be permitted.
Indiana’s Area Agencies on Aging, AARP and nearly 70 libraries around the state also can help Hoosiers schedule their appointments.
For those interested in trying to get a mass vaccination clinic, they’ll be running at the following places and dates:
• University of Notre Dame, Compton Family Ice Arena, 100 Compton Family Ice Arena, Notre Dame, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. March 26-27.
• Indianapolis Motor Speedway, 4790 W. 16th St., Indianapolis, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. March 5-7. Enter through main gate off 16th Street; participants will remain in their cars for their vaccines.
• Ivy Tech Community College, 8204 C.R. 311, Sellersburg, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. March 12-13. Participants will remain in their cars for their vaccines.