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New age category eligible for COVID vaccines; move figures to be good news for Hoosier businesses

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Growing availability of COVID-19 vaccines are boosting optimism in the fight to control the coronavirus in Indiana.

ALLEN COUNTY, Ind. (Fort Wayne's NBC) - Another large batch of Hoosiers are now in line to sign up for free COVID-19 vaccines.

Indiana residents 60 to 64 are now eligible to receive the inoculations.

It marks a milestone in Indiana's fight against the coronavirus.

Front-line health care workers and first responders weeks ago were able to get vaccinated.

For the first time, Indiana residents of general working age from all walks of life can now sign up for their shots.

This new announcement from the Indiana Department of Health makes the vaccine available to an additional 432,000 Hoosiers.

In the first three hours of registering on Tuesday, nearly 63,000 people from the 60 to 64 age group signed up.

As more people become eligible for COVID shots, it will take more providers to meet the demand.

Meijer has just announced the grocery and department store chain is launching a series of vaccine clinics in Indiana stores with plans to administer 17,000 doses to Hoosiers 65 and older by week's end who pre-registered.

"We've been very, very pleased with the ramping up of the vaccine doses that are coming in, the inventory is increasing every week, more and more coming in. So, we want to get as many people vaccinated as possible," said Frank Guglielmi, Meijer's Director of Corporate Communications.

There are various ways to register for those Meijer COVID-19 vaccines.

Now that active workers are among those registering for vaccines, businesses may play a more active role in helping coordinate the timing of who gets shots and when, as some of the doses can make you feel a little ill for a day or so.

"I know what they were saying when they were first rolling this out for health care workers, was that you didn't want to have your entire department's registered nurses get the vaccine at the same time, so it sounds like you may want to be doing something similar at this point," said Rachel Blakeman, the director of the Community Research Institute at Purdue Fort Wayne.

Many companies have been waiting for the time when their workers could begin to get immunity to COVID-19, in hopes it will lead to fewer disruptions in operations and productivity.

Jeff Neumeyer

Jeff Neumeyer is a reporter for WPTA.

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