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Vanderburgh County Health Department to get Johnson & Johnson Vaccine, as Eligibility Expands

The Indiana Department of Health expanded the eligibility age for those able to get one of the Covid-19 vaccines to those 55 and over on Tuesday, March 2nd. And the fast-tracked expansion has a lot to do with the FDA authorizing the emergency use of a third vaccine -- Johnson & Johnson.

Posted: Mar 2, 2021 10:08 PM
Updated: Mar 3, 2021 9:14 AM

69-year-old retired nurse, Jenny Cissell, got her second dose of the Moderna vaccine Tuesday, March 2nd, just hours after the Indiana Department of Health expanded the eligibility to those 55 and over in the state.

And she cannot wait until her adult children in their 40s, will be able to be inoculated as well.

"We didn't have Christmas, we didn't have Thanksgiving so,” she said. “We're really looking forward to a visit."

The new group able to roll up their sleeves for a shot of hope also includes those with medical issues, like those getting dialysis or cancer treatments.

"It's important to really look at those -- ages those folks who are older,” said Joe Gries, administrator with the Vanderburgh County Health Department. “And again -- they are the ones that sometimes have those underlying health conditions."

As for the sped up timeline on vaccine eligibility, it has a lot to do with the FDA authorizing the emergency use of a third vaccine -- Johnson and Johnson.

"There's more vaccine available -- so they wanted to open it up as much as possible," Gries said. "They don't want vaccines sitting on shelves -- in refrigerators -- they want to get it out to the counties -- the hospitals -- anyone who can administer that vaccine."

Now currently, the Vanderburgh County Health Department only administers the Moderna vaccine because they don’t have the proper cold storage required for Pfizer, but they will be receiving shipments of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine from the state -- they just don’t know when yet.

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