State expands vaccine eligibility to anyone 16 and older

NOW: State expands vaccine eligibility to anyone 16 and older

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SOUTH BEND, Ind.--The coronavirus pandemic hasn’t been an easy ride.

“It’s just, it’s been one of the hardest years and i don’t think any of us expected it to last this long or for it to go this far and just having to learn and adapt all of the time,” South Bend resident Catherina Zmud said.

“Not being around family and friends as much and having a baby right before the pandemic is hard, and not having her get to know her family like she should has been hard,” South Bend resident Shelby McGowan said.

But now, the long wait to vaccinate is finally over for Hoosiers 16 and older in Indiana.

“I’m in a little bit of relieved. I think that we’ve been waiting a while not just from the department of health side, but I think the community side so we are excited that anybody who wishes to receive a vaccine and is 16 and older is able to do so,” St. Joseph County Department of Health Director of Health Outreach Promotions and Education Robin Vida said.

And relieved, is exactly what newly vaccinated Hoosiers are feeling, after rolling up their sleeves for the one-and-done Johnson and Johnson shot Wednesday at Madison STEAM Academies vaccination site

“I feel really good and I feel that I will live with less anxiety,” McGowan said.

“Well, it defiantly takes a lot off of my shoulders. It’s a little bit less that i have to worry about. I do still feel the need to be careful and to make good decisions and try to be as responsible as possible. But it feels really, really good to be going in the right direction,” Zmud said.

Registration to sign up opened at 8 o’clock this morning, with wait times ranging all the way from nothing at all, to 30 minutes. Appointments for vaccinations at this point, look to be scheduled out until mid-April.

“I think opening eligibility to 30 and above on Monday help alleviate some of that system overload,” Vida said. “We do see though with some of our younger ages that they tend to wait until later in the day because they heard of other issues.”

Whether you sign up and schedule now or later, getting a shot is what many say is the path to a hopeful future!

“I think everyone should be getting a vaccine and if anything, I feel that we should all be pretty hopeful, that things are looking pretty good, we are all in this together. So, everyone should go get vaccinated, do their part, and I think everything will be okay,” Zmud said.

If you are an eligible Hoosier you can sign-up to get a vaccination by clicking here or by calling 2-1-1.

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