Public Health Emergency Extended and COVID-19 Vaccination Sign Up Information

By: Janet A. McSharar

Effective January 21, 2021, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar extended the public health emergency brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic to April 21, 2021.  Public Health Emergency declarations are issued in 90-day increments.

On January 6, 2021, Governor Eric Holcomb announced Hoosiers over the age of 80 are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine beginning January 8, 2021 and many eligible Hoosiers have already taken advantage of this opportunity.  This opportunity is available to all Hoosiers 80 and over regardless of where they live.  There is at least one clinic available in each of Indiana’s 92 counties.  Pre-registration is required. After receiving the first dose of the vaccine, Hoosiers will make an appointment to receive their second dose.

On January 13, 2021, Governor Holcomb extended COVID-19 vaccinations to Hoosiers 70 and over.  The Indiana Family and Social Services Administration strongly encourages Hoosiers to register through the website at  Those who need additional assistance are asked to dial 211 or contact Area Agencies on Aging.

It is anticipated that as more doses of the vaccine become available, Hoosiers age 60 and older will be invited to register and receive their vaccinations.

COVID-19 vaccinations for front line health care workers and long-term care facility residents began in late December and continues.  The Indiana State Department of Health assigned each Indiana long-term care facility to a pharmacy partnership with either CVS or Walgreens. The long-term care facilities and their pharmacy partners began administering the COVID-19 vaccine to both residents and staff.  This effort is ongoing.

Older Hoosiers residing in long-term care facilities can be vaccinated at either their respective facilities or at the community clinic in their geographic area.  Long-term care facilities include nursing facilities, residential care facilities, assisted living facilities, and independent living communities.  The Indiana State Department of Health recommends independent living community and assisted living facility residents obtain their vaccination through available means, whether that be community clinics or through the pharmacy partnership with their respective living communities.  The Indiana State Department of Health recommends nursing facility residents obtain their vaccinations at their facility’s onsite clinic rather than travel to a community clinic.