After some obstacles from winter weather, Miami County’s COVID-19 vaccination efforts are back on track with the arrival of Monday’s regular shipment of vaccines and the reallocation of borrowed doses that helped get the county’s health department through its weekend clinic.
“They have been returned back to the counties where they were allocated from,” Miami County Health Officer Dr. Christi Redmon told the Tribune on Tuesday.
She was talking about a shipment of doses received late last week that state officials pulled together to allow the county to keep more than 200 Friday and weekend appointments after winter weather across the state delayed incoming deliveries, and caused the county to miss that week’s Monday shipment.
Similar shipment delays forced officials in Huntington County to cancel Friday and Saturday clinics, something Redmon believed as late as Thursday night that she was going to need to do as well.
“I am sure they were not alone,” she said of the decision in Huntington.
Seeing the Monday shipment come in this week was welcome, Redmon said.
State officials announced Tuesday that they were opening up vaccine eligibility to those 60 and older.
The Indiana Department of Health said the expansion makes the free shots available to another 432,000 Hoosiers. Indiana’s vaccine eligibility pool had previously included Hoosiers age 65 and older, health care workers, long-term care residents and first responders.
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 percent of Indiana’s population but account for 64 percent of the state’s COVID-19 hospitalizations and 93.3 percent of its COVID-19 deaths.
Vaccine appointments for the age 60 to 64 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 a vaccine, Hoosiers can visit https://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.
Redmon said Tuesday that the Miami County Health Department will be looking to expand Tuesday and Thursday hours at the weekday clinic in the First Christian Church’s Firehouse Ministries building on the corner of Main and Miami streets.
There will also be another Saturday clinic at the local Ivy Tech property. Previous Saturday clinics had been held at Riverview Event Center on Canal Street.
As of Tuesday, 3,933 Miami County residents has received their first dose of one of the two-dose vaccines available. Of those, 1,394 had been fully vaccinated.