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Indiana opens COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to those 65-69

February 1, 2021 GMT
Nick Gianikos, a housing board member at the AHEPA apartments in Merrillville, receives his Moderna COVID-19 vaccine from Walgreens pharmacist Mindy Keeton on Monday./The Times via AP)
Nick Gianikos, a housing board member at the AHEPA apartments in Merrillville, receives his Moderna COVID-19 vaccine from Walgreens pharmacist Mindy Keeton on Monday./The Times via AP)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana health officials are making the COVID-19 vaccine available to those between ages 65 and 69.

The state Department of Health announced the expansion Monday, adding the new age group after previously making all residents ages 70 and older and health care workers eligible for shots.

The vaccine is available at no cost. Appointments will be available in all 92 counties and can be made at the website ourshot.in.gov or by calling the state’s 2-1-1 telephone assistance service.

Indiana officials have based shot eligibility on age rather than moving up teachers and other essential workers as other states have done. They cite statistics that those ages 60 and older represent 93% of Indiana’s COVID-19 deaths and 64% of hospitalizations, arguing that vaccinating those people will have the biggest impact.

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The coronavirus has killed nearly 10,000 people in Indiana, with almost 60% of those deaths in the past three months during the state’s most lethal surge, according to state health department statistics.