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COVID-19 vaccine eligibility opens up to those 70 and older

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Those 70 and older now are eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccine.

This comes after eligibility for those 80 and older opened up on Jan. 1. The Howard County Health Department is hosting vaccine clinics where the Moderna vaccine is being administered. 

According to Kristina Sommers, Howard County public health emergency coordinator, the health department’s allotment doesn’t increase until the week of Jan. 25, and as of now, appointment slots are filled through next week.

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However, those wishing to receive a vaccine still are encouraged to make an appointment now at ourshot.in.gov or by calling 211. Vaccines can be scheduled at any location offering them, so eligible individuals have the option to use other sites if appointments are available.

According to Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb, around 100,000 seniors age 80 and older already had scheduled vaccinations. And as of this afternoon, 59,723 people age 70 to 79 already had scheduled. 

Hoosiers age 70 and older account for 11.8 percent of the state population but 42 percent of the hospitalizations and 78 percent of COVID-19 deaths in the state. 

The Indiana State Department of Health is recommending that those who had allergic reactions to polyethylene glycol (PEG) or polysorbate should not get an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine. Polysorbate is not an ingredient in either mRNA COVID-19 vaccine but is closely related to PEG, which is in the vaccines. For more information, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/safety/allergic-reaction.html​.