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Hoosiers experience more COVID-19 vaccination scheduling delays – WTHR

By

Jan 15, 2021

The state health department said more than 250,000 Hoosiers age 70 and older are scheduled to get their first shot as of Thursday.

INDIANAPOLIS — The vaccine rollout in Indiana is seeing a boom right now. 

The state health department said more than 250,000 Hoosiers age 70 and older are scheduled to get their first shot as of Thursday.  

But the high demand is creating delays and long wait times for people trying to book an appointment online or by phone calling 2-1-1. 

Of the seniors scheduled to get a COVID-19 vaccine, more than half of them booked an appointment on Wednesday, including Jerri Harris in Kokomo. The 75-year-old first tried scheduling one on the state’s website

“I went through the whole month of January, February, March and April and there were no dates available,” she said.  

She then called the 2-1-1 hotline. She said she waited for about an hour and 20 minutes, only to be disconnected.  

“Then I thought, ‘you can’t let this get you down.’ I’ll try again later, but it was almost an hour wait and I got disconnected again,” she said.  

After multiple tries, her daughter finally found her an appointment later that night in Cass County for the following week.  

Harris isn’t the only one having problems. 13News received multiple complaints about others waiting hours on the phone or unable to find open appointments.  

On Thursday, many sites were still booked out for a week or longer. Some didn’t have any appointments at all.   

“Our team looks at the numbers every single day and sees where do we have the greatest uptick, who is almost 100 percent full and we make sure that we pivot to add another location or send additional vaccine there,” said Dr. Lindsay Weaver, Indiana’s chief medical officer.  

To avoid waiting, the state suggests checking availability in other counties that might have more openings or calling later in the evening, since the mornings have a high call volume.  

Most of all, state health officials are asking for patience as they try to balance vaccine availability and demand.  

Right now, nearly 160 vaccine sites are open in Indiana with at least one in every county.  

 

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