CHICAGO (CBS) — The age to get a COVID-19 vaccine is dropping again in Indiana.
Now people who are 45 and older can get a shot there. But in Illinois, the magic number for most people is still 65.READ MORE: Chicago Weather: Dry And Quiet Pattern
CBS 2’s Jim Williams reports it’s a difference in philosophy. Illinois places a higher priority on occupations and underlying conditions while Indiana places a higher priority on age alone.
“I have been eagerly anticipating the day that Indiana lowered the age.”
Sheri Zuccarelli is 49 and lives in Indiana. On Tuesday, she got word her state is making the COVID vaccine available to residents as young as 45. Zuccarelli signed up.
“It was very easy. I did it in less than five minutes,” she said.
Unlike other states, including Illinois, Indiana has an age-based vaccine distribution system. Indiana first vaccinated the oldest members of the population, then worked toward the youngest.
Indiana University economics professor Micah Pollak studied the vaccine rollout.
“They basically said age is the single biggest factor in determining whether someone gets hospitalized or suffers death. So we’re going to start by knocking down age groups one at a time,” Pollack said. “And so unlike other states they didn’t provide exceptions for frontline workers or anything like that, it’s been a very organized rollout and we’re now down to the point we’re open up to 45 and above.”
“I think it’s fantastic. We’re cruising right along and there’s some light at the end of the tunnel, finally.”
Karrie Schwartz, who is 50 and lives in Northwest Indiana, got her first shot Tuesday, two weeks after signing up.
“The Indiana state department of health website was nice in that respect because you can just go on, click the site by entering your zip code,” Schwartz said. “You can go near your home to get vaccinated.”READ MORE: Man Lost Everything As He Waited On Callback From Illinois Department Of Employment Security That Never Came
While Illinois and Indiana have different philosophies on how the vaccines should be distributed, Illinois placing a higher priority on underlying conditions and occupations.
Both states have fully vaccinated 12% of their populations.
Sheri Zuccarelli gets her first shot on March 31.
“I want to get vaccinated very badly,” Zuccarelli said. “So I’m very excited.”
Also in Indiana, teachers of any age there can get the vaccine, at any state vaccination site.
As more vaccine eligibility opens, more Hoosiers become protected. That doesn't mean that we stop all #COVID19 precautions.
When in public, wear a mask and social distance.
Wash your hands frequently and stay home if you're sick.
— Indiana Department of Health (@StateHealthIN) March 16, 2021MORE NEWS: COVID-19 In Illinois: New Cases Have Nearly Doubled In The Past Month; Infection Rate At Highest Point Since January