A COVID-19 Vaccine Has Arrived In Indiana

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A COVID-19 Vaccine Has Arrived In Indiana

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) allowing the first shipments of COVID-19 vaccine to be shipped to Indiana and other states.

Only people who received a link directly from their employers can register for vaccination at this time. That includes hospital-based employees and long-term care staff. A medical ID will be required.

Who Will Be Eligible To Receive The Vaccine First?

Initial doses will be limited, so the first priority for the vaccine will go to healthcare workers and residents of long-term care facilities.

If you answer yes to any of these questions, you are among the first group of healthcare workers who will be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Please make sure that your email address is current with the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency so that you will receive updates when registration is open.

    • Do you work or volunteer in healthcare and have (physical or close) contact or face to face interactions with patients? Examples include:
      • Inpatient, outpatient, provider office setting, nursing homes, residential care facilities, assisted living facilities, in-home services
      • This includes all clinical and non-clinical positions: clinicians, dietary, environmental services, administrators who have direct contact with patients, clergy who see patients in the healthcare setting, non-clinicians who assist in procedures, transportation staff, etc.
      • This also includes local health department staff who interact with patients at test sites, health clinics or provide direct patient care
    • Do you have exposure to COVID-19 infectious material? (Examples include cleaning of rooms or material from COVID-19 patients, performing COVID-19 testing, other exposure to infected tissue, performing autopsies or other post-mortem examinations of COVID-19 patients)
  • Do you reside in a long-term care facility (nursing home, residential care, assisted living)?

Only people who received a link directly from their employers can register for vaccination at this time. As of Dec. 15, only hospital-based employees, long-term care staff, and emergency medical service providers are eligible to receive the vaccine. A facility ID will be required. We will notify additional healthcare personnel of their eligibility as more vaccine becomes available.

The timeline for additional phases of vaccine administration is yet to be determined.

The Vaccine

The first COVID-19 vaccine to receive Emergency Use Authorization was created by Pfizer-BioNTech. Additional vaccines by Moderna and other manufacturers also are being developed. The EUA process has allowed for clinical trials and manufacturing to occur simultaneously, while still allowing for rigorous testing to determine the vaccine’s safety and how effective it is.

  1. Safety is top priority.
    The first goal is to focus on the safety of the vaccine and determine how effective it is. Before any vaccine is released, it must first complete three phases of clinical trials to study its effect on thousands of diverse study participants. Once that study is done, the pharmaceutical company submits the results for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the U.S. FDA. This is a way to make important health breakthroughs available to the public quickly.The vaccine is then reviewed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). ACIP is a federal advisory committee of medical and public health experts who develop recommendations on the use of vaccines in the U.S. public.The next step is for the Indiana Department of Health’s Vaccine Allocation Plan Development Advisory Group to make final recommendations on the ethical and equitable allocation of a limited COVID-19 vaccine.
  2. There will be a limited vaccine supply at first.
    The first two vaccines expected to be available are being manufactured by Pfizer and Moderna. Some groups will be recommended to get a COVID-19 vaccine first. We have set up a phased-in approach to determine who is eligible for vaccine first based on the most effective way to reduce the impact of COVID-19. This first round of vaccine will go to long-term care center staff and healthcare personnel who in their line of may be exposed to COVID-19 patients or infectious material, as well as long-term care residents. The vaccine will not initially be available for children under age 16. Early clinical trials of the vaccine show no adverse effects for pregnant women, but pregnant women should have a conversation with their healthcare providers to see if it’s right for you.
  3. The vaccine will be free.
    Vaccine providers will be able to bill a patient’s insurance for a fee to administer the vaccine, but will not be able to charge the patient. Providers can seek reimbursement for uninsured patients from the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Provider Relief Fund.
  4. Prevent the spread of COVID-19 until vaccine is available to everyone.
    The state Department of Health is preparing for the arrival of the vaccine, both in limited supply at first, and through next year when the vaccine will be widely available. Until there is enough vaccine for everyone, it’s crucial for you to continue to take these steps that we can do now to prevent the spread of COVID-19:

    • Wear a mask to protect yourself and others
    • Stay at least 6 feet apart (about 2 arm lengths)
    • Practice good hand hygiene by washing with soap and water or using hand sanitizer
    • Isolate yourself if you’re sick and stay home if you’ve been exposed to someone with COVID-19
    • Clean frequently touched surfaces often

Indiana’s Vaccine Advisory Groups

Indiana has worked with partners from across the state to develop a vaccination plan. The goal was to get input from a variety of experts in a number of areas, including infectious disease, hospitals and health care, education, faith-based communities, pharmacies, organizations serving minorities and those with disabilities, local health departments and others.

Vaccine Allocation Plan Development Advisory Group: Provided final recommendations on the ethical and equitable allocation of a limited COVID-19 vaccine. This group remains available to assemble as adjustments to the plan are needed as we learn how much vaccine we will receive and review the research about how safe and effective the vaccine is.

Ethical Considerations Advisory Group: Reviewed existing documents and assisted in writing and reviewing ethical approaches to vaccine allocation. This group founded its recommendations with the goals to decrease overall deaths, reduce the spread of COVID-19, make sure limited resources are used responsibly, and support healthcare systems to ensure that they have the resources needed to administer vaccine, treat disease and protect vulnerable populations in a fair, equitable manner.

Vaccine Review Advisory Group: This group will investigate available information on each COVID-19 vaccine and will specifically review the safety profile and efficacy of each population of interest (those at clinical risk and demographic factors).

Equitable Distribution and Communication Advisory Group: Worked to ensure that all Hoosiers were considered and represented as a component of the vaccine allocation plan. Advised on key components of communication.

Data Advisory Group: Explored creative data resources and compiled Indiana-specific data for critical populations.

Vaccination Program Implementation Committee: External committee facilitated by the Indiana Department of Health’s (IDOH) State Health Commissioner with representation from state and local government organizations, private sectors, tribes, healthcare, education, and critical infrastructure.

 

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