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March 2, 2021
Welcome to our new series Employers are Asking. My name is Sarah Michaels. I’m a registered nurse and the Director of Kinetiq Health at Apex Benefits.
We are thrilled to bring you the first of many in the Employers are Asking series, which means we are answering in real-time all the questions you have before you have to wait.
As a registered nurse I’m still being asked a lot about the COVID-19 vaccines — top of mind, isn’t it? So, the three questions I’m going to address today have to do with the COVID-19 vaccines.
Question 1: who is eligible?
In the state of Indiana you have likely seen we just opened up the eligibility to anyone 60 0r older (UPDATE: people 55 and older are now eligible as of March 2). As of today, we have more than 900,000 people in the state of Indiana that have been vaccinated. That means we might see a little bit longer of a wait. Keep in mind, when the vaccine first came out it was people needing the first shot. Now, we have people needing the first shot and people needing the second shot.
That takes me to the second question.
Question 2: How do I register?
You have heard from us before that 2-1-1 is a wonderful number you can call if you need immediate access to a live person. If you’re tech savvy, go to ourshot.in.gov to find the latest and greatest for places to register in your area. But we’re going to give you a secret that not everybody knows about.
- Sam’s Club
These places are now administering the vaccine. Those appointments are found by going to the individual web sites. So, if you can’t get through on the state site, why not try one of the store sites? You might be surprised, and if you’re willing to drive, you can get it relatively quickly. Not only same day, but maybe some time that week.
That takes us to my third question.
Question 3: What’s the vaccine standby wait list?
Clinics are being encouraged to have a standby list. What you need to know, as a nurse, is when you administer a vaccine you’re using a vial that actually contains up to 10 doses of the COVID vaccine. If I have five doses left in the vial, I have to figure out how to use those and not let them go to waste. In order to do that, clinics have a standby wait list.
There was a little bit of confusion when teachers thought they were eligible to be on the standby list. The state actually released that, unfortunately, we still have to go by eligibility — 55 and older, healthcare workers, long-term care workers and first responders. That doesn’t mean you can’t sign up for the list, but clinics are urged to follow the eligibility list.
To give some context around the 900,000 people that have been vaccinated, about 440,000 have received both doses. So the people that are now 55-plus going into that pool is going to take up a lot of resources, so please be patient. The vaccine is coming, and places are ready to administer. The age range 60-plus actually made 94 percent of our deaths in Indiana, so we want to make sure the priority goes toward those folks.
That’s what employers are asking us today. If you have questions you want answered in real time, make sure to inbox at email@example.com and your question could appear right here on a future video.