INDIANAPOLIS – Gov. Eric Holcomb opened up COVID-19 vaccine registration for Hoosiers over the age of 70 Wednesday and more than 59,000 signed up within hours.
In all, more than 445,000 Hoosiers have scheduled appointments to receive the vaccine by the end of January.
The state also updated its weekly color-coded county map Wednesday and Allen County moved back into the red, which carries a social gathering limitation of 25 people.
All but 19 counties are in the red with the rest in orange. None are in yellow and blue.
The state reported 3,686 new cases and 59 new deaths. The total deaths from the novel coronavirus are 8,790.
Allen County added 183 new cases and 19 new deaths for a total of 537 deaths. DeKalb and Huntington counties also reported one new death each.
But Wednesday's briefing was mostly focused on vaccines.
So far, 40,000 Hoosiers are fully vaccinated and 180,000 have had their first doses. The state started with front-line health care workers and nursing home residents and staff.
But last Friday anyone over the age of 80 could sign up. Less than a week later the state moved to the 70s age group.
That population is much larger though – 470,000 Hoosiers in their 70s versus 255,000 in their 80s.
It isn't clear what group will be next after everyone above the age of 60 is vaccinated. Holcomb was asked specifically about teachers feeling they were skipped over when the state shifted to an age-based plan.
“We're trying to get to everyone as fast as we can, but we're starting with the most at risk,” he said.
Right now, the state is receiving about 79,000 doses a week, but State Health Commissioner Dr. Kris Box said the demand is higher than that. She asked for patience and vigilance for Hoosiers to continue wearing their masks, washing their hands and socially distancing.
“We have not and we never will sit on doses of the vaccine,” Box said.
Depending on demand and supply in individual counties, someone might get an appointment today or 10 days later. Registration is available at www.ourshot.in.gov or call 211.
“We will get it into arms when we get it,” Holcomb said.
Allen: 183 (19 deaths)
DeKalb: 14 (1)
Huntington: 15 (1)
Sources: Indiana State Department of Health,
Allen County Department of Health, DeKalb County Health Department