INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana residents who are at least 60 years old are now eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, state health officials announced Tuesday in the latest expansion of the state's vaccine rollout.
The Indiana State Department of Health said the expansion makes the free shots available to 432,000 more Hoosiers. Indiana's vaccine eligibility pool had previously included Hoosiers age 65 and older, health care workers, long-term care residents and first responders.
Nearly 91,000 Hoosiers ages 60-64 scheduled a free COVID-19 vaccine in their first eight hours of eligibility Tuesday, the state health department said.
Additional groups will be added as more vaccine becomes available, officials said.
The health department said people age 60 and older represent more than 22% of Indiana's population but account for 64% of the state's COVID-19 hospitalizations and 93.3% of its COVID-19 deaths.
The state health department's announcement of its latest vaccine rollout came on the same day state health officials announced an additional 716 Hoosiers have been diagnosed with COVID-19 through testing at state and private laboratories, bringing the total to 657,037. Forty-four more Hoosiers have died of COVID-19 for a total of 12,025.
In Allen County, 59 more residents tested positive and seven died, for a total of 35,637 cases and 632 deaths.
The DeKalb County Health Department confirmed six new COVID-19 cases, for a total of 3,856. The county's death toll remained at 75 as no new deaths were reported Tuesday.
A total of 7,815,751 tests, including repeat tests for unique individuals, have been reported to the state department of health since Feb. 26, 2020.
Vaccine appointments for the 60-to-64 age group will be available over the next four to six weeks to align with the state receiving its expected weekly vaccine allocation, the state health department said.
To schedule an appointment, Hoosiers can go online to 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 cellphone 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.
Jim Chapman of The Journal Gazette contributed to this story.
Allen: 59 (7 deaths)
Sources: Indiana State Department of Health, Allen County Department of Health, DeKalb County Health Department