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Who Is Eligible for A Covid-19 Vaccine in the Tri-State?

Starting Monday, March 22, Hoosiers ages 40 and up can get a shot of hope. Over in the Bluegrass -- those 50 and over now have a chance at immunity. While thousands more, including those who work in higher education and media, just became eligible in some parts of Illinois.

Posted: Mar 22, 2021 7:04 PM
Updated: Mar 22, 2021 7:16 PM

Posey County resident Sheryl Schmitt, who is in her 60s, got her second dose of the Pfizer vaccine a few weeks ago, along with her husband.

"I was expecting the shot to hurt a little bit or maybe have a few symptoms after, but I didn't have anything like that,” she said. "No matter the circumstances that people think about the virus or so forth, I think it's great our country was able to develop vaccines so quickly and I think people should maybe take advantage of it."

And as the eligibility opens up -- healthcare leaders are seeing those appointment numbers climb.

"They had opened it up at 7 this morning,” said Brian Spencer, the Pharmacy Service Line Manager at Deaconess Health System. “I got on the schedule about 8:30 or 9 p.m. and it was booked up."

At Deaconess -- where they supply vaccines for both states -- the different age requirements are hard to juggle.

"So making sure that we have our information to the public updated,” Spencer said. “And accurate and our websites updated and accurate -- and we're following the state's guidance so Kentucky is for Kentucky and Indiana is for Indiana -- makes it challenging."

But health officials recognize the Ohio River is just a figurative dividing line and not one that keeps the virus at bay.

"We have people who work in Kentucky and live in Indiana and vice versa,” said Joe Gries, administrator for the Vanderburgh County Health Department. “As long as we're able to get people vaccinated and they're eligible on both sides of the river -- we're happy about that."

In Illinois, while mass clinics are focused on getting those 65 and older vaccines, Gov. Pritzker says the goal is for all residents 16 and up to be eligible by April 12th. Kentucky has also committed to the target.

"In my recent calls with Indiana and Kentucky -- I believe that's the goal by mid to end April,” Spencer said. “To have it open to any citizens that want one so I think we're very close to making that a reality."

As for Schmitt, she cannot wait until everyone else can have the same level of immunity.

"It's a good feeling actually,” she said.

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