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Op-ed: Leising: COVID-19 vaccine available for Hoosiers ages 80 and up

COVID-19 vaccine available for Hoosiers ages 80 and up

By State Sen. Jean Leising (R-Oldenburg)

Indiana has been hard at work distributing the COVID-19 vaccine to our frontline health care workers, first responders, long-term care residents and long-term care workers.

Effective Friday, Jan. 8, Indiana residents who are 80 years of age or older may make an appointment to receive the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

I strongly urge those 80 years of age or older, or their representative, to visit to make an appointment. While the vaccines are free, individuals who have health insurance are required to input their insurance information into the website when scheduling their appointment.

Should there be any challenge making an appointment online, Hoosiers or their representative may call 2-1-1 to schedule a time. The Indiana 211 call center will be available from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily, including weekends. Individuals in this age range will also receive a notification in the mail that they are eligible to receive the vaccine.

There is at least one vaccination location in each of Indiana's 92 counties. Appointments for the second dose will be made at the clinic when the first dose is administered.

Based on clinical trials, the vaccine is at least 94% effective at preventing COVID-19 for all adults, and very few side effects have been reported.

The next group of people eligible to receive the vaccine will be Hoosiers 70 years of age and older, followed by those 60 years of age and older. Those three age groups combined account for approximately 93% of all COVID-19 deaths in Indiana. Progressing with the vaccinations in this order will help save the most lives while reducing hospitalizations.

As of today, there is no definite timeline of when each wave will begin, since the state receives vaccine doses on a weekly basis. Revisit the website frequently for updates. More information, including frequently asked questions and safety information, can be found at

Again, I encourage all Hoosiers 80 years of age or older to schedule a time to be vaccinated. It is important everyone take advantage of this safe, free vaccine when they become eligible. We all want to get through the coronavirus pandemic and put it behind us, and the COVID-19 vaccine will help us get there.