According to the Indiana State Department of Health, a total of 33,500 Hoosiers age 80 or older registered for free COVID-19 vaccines between 9:00 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. on Friday, the first day of eligibility for this age group.
Among those registering, 21,000 people scheduled appointments in the first 90 minutes after registration opened.
While the age group of Hoosiers 80 and above make up 3.8% of the state's population, the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations made up by individuals in that age group is around 19%, while the number of individuals in that age group accounts for about 52% of the state's COVID-19 deaths.
The state health department said Friday that so many vaccination registrations were being made 80-and-up Hoosiers that the state website was experiencing functionality issues.
Hoosiers age 80 and above, in combination with Hoosiers age 60 and above, account for about 93% of the state's COVID-19 deaths. This was a large factor in the state's latest phased, age-based vaccine administration plan.
With hundreds of new COVID-19 deaths reported weekly and 69 new COVID-19 deaths reported statewide on Friday, state health officials stress the urgency of vaccinating the state's most vulnerable population. So far, 8,521 total Hoosiers have died now from COVID-19, according to ISDH.
In addition to the new deaths reported Friday, ISDH said 6,199 new positive cases of COVID-19 had been identified throughout the state as well. 552,594 total Indiana residents are now confirmed to have tested positive for COVID-19 to date.
More information on COVID-19 in Indiana can be found on coronavirus.in.gov/2393.htm, which is updated daily.