Hoosiers 65+ eligible for vaccine

NOW: Hoosiers 65+ eligible for vaccine

SOUTH BEND, Ind.-- It all started with first responders and healthcare workers on the top of the list and first in line to get vaccinated. The vaccine efforts then progressed to long-term care patients and anyone over 70, and now, anyone 65 and older can sign up for a shot!

“As we expand eligibility we just get closer and closer to I think beginning to start controlling the number of people who are impacted by COVID-19 infection. Most importantly, death from COVID-19 infection,” St. Joseph County Department of Health Outreach Promotion and Education Director Robin Vida said.

In the state of Indiana, over 140,000 Hoosiers have been fully vaccinated since inoculation efforts began. Meanwhile in St. Joseph County, slightly over 21,000 folks have received their first dose, and over 4,000 have been fully vaccinated.

Soon, even more people like South Bend couple Cheryl and Fred Nix, who signed up this Monday morning, will add to those numbers.

“I’ve been checking the site for the last week or so. I kept expecting them to lower the age to 65 from 70 because apparently the president said that some more vaccines will be shipped out to the states with 16% more than they typically arranged,” Fred Nix said.

“It was one of those things where I just thought I’d check really quickly and then it was like woo! And then click, click, click, click, click,” Cheryl Nix said.

The couple said they weren’t the slightest bit hesitant to jump on the vaccine train.

“I felt none. Because ultimately you either believe the science or you don’t. And why in the world would I go against a bunch of expert epidemiologists and people in the medical science field and take the word of someone who’s not qualified to render an opinion really,” Fred said.

They instead see this as chance to fix the mess we’re all experiencing.

“I’m hoping that we can build this excitement around aren’t we so lucky to have this opportunity to be protected and protect other people,” Cheryl said.

While this last year has been rough for the couple, they stay optimistic about the vaccine process and future ahead!

“It’s terrible, but you know one thing Fred said the other day is, we’ve suffered through this for nearly a year, this is no time to stop being careful. Like, we’re almost there,” Cheryl said.

Health officials feel just the same.

“We are hopeful that we’ll move through this group and that we’ll move through the next and eventually in the next short few months we’ll be up to having enough vaccine and appointments for everybody,” Vida said.

If you’re eligible to receive a vaccine, you can schedule an appointment at ourshot.in.gov or by calling 2-1-1.

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