The Journal Gazette
Wednesday, February 10, 2021 5:30 pm

Holcomb discusses state's next vaccination steps

NIKI KELLY | The Journal Gazette

INDIANAPOLIS – Gov. Eric Holcomb and his health officials on Wednesday clarified the next step in the state’s vaccination rollout but with no specific timeline.

Hoosiers between the ages of 60 and 65 will be the next group eligible – about 430,000 Hoosiers. After that the state will move to those between 50 and 59 – though likely in five-year segments – as well as those under 50 with certain high-risk conditions.

Those conditions include active dialysis patients; people with Down Syndrome, post-solid organ transplant recipients, Sickle cell disease patients and people actively or recently in treatment for cancer or those with primary lung cancer, lymphoma, leukemia, or multiple myeloma.

These estimated 51,000 Hoosiers will be contacted by their health care providers to arrange vaccination, said Dr. Lindsay Weaver, chief medical officer for the Indiana State Department of Health.

She said 2 million Hoosiers in all have high-risk conditions but the state can’t open it up all at once due to limited vaccine supply.

Holcomb said risk of death is the key factor in state’s vaccination plan.

So far, more than 736,000 Hoosiers have received their first dose of the vaccine and more than 258,000 are fully vaccinated.

State Health Commissioner Dr. Kris Box said she is excited to see those numbers grow – 57% of those over 80 have been vaccinated or are scheduled; 64% of those age 70 and older; 55% of those 65-69 and 66% of healthcare workers and first responders.

Statewide COVID-19 continues to drop in positivity around the state and hospitalizations are also down.

The state reported 1,452 new cases Wednesday and 52 new deaths. The total for deaths is 11,578. Allen County added 102 new cases. The county also saw 37 residents added to the COVID-19 death data from a recent state audit of death records, bringing the total to 617 deaths.

Holcomb was also asked about a bill that passed the Indiana House this week curbing the powers the governor would have in any future emergency disaster, including a pandemic.

He questioned the constitutionality of allowing the Indiana General Assembly to call themselves into session. He quoted Article 4, Section 9 of the Indiana Constitution, which sets the regular sessions and specifically gives the governor power to call a special session.

Holcomb said the information was changing so fast that decisions were being made daily early on. When things settled a bit – and after he extended the emergency several times – he asked Republican legislative leaders if a special session was needed and they said no.

"Am I going to get my way 100% of the time? Call my wife," Holcomb said, while saying he continues to work with both the House and Senate on the legislation.

New cases

Adams: 7

Allen: 102 (37 deaths)

DeKalb: 25

Huntington: 18 (3 deaths)

Kosciusko: 23 (2 deaths)

LaGrange: 2

Noble: 18

Steuben: 8

Wabash: 0

Wells: 7 (1 death)

Whitley: 12 (1 death)

Sources: Indiana State Department of Health, Allen County Department of Health, DeKalb County Health Department


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