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Allen Co. health commissioner discusses Hoosiers 55+ now eligible for COVID-19 vaccine

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA21) -- Hoosiers 55 and older are now eligible to receive the vaccine for COVID-19.

Allen County Health Commissioner Dr. Matthew Sutter says the state department of health's decision to allow that demographic to get the coronavirus vaccine is a good sign during what he calls a critical time.

"Our cases have come down across the state and in Allen County, which is really great news, but some experts are still worried there may be a spring surge as people become relaxed and stop doing things they've been doing all along through the winter," he said.

He says that's why it's important for everyone to continue to wear masks, wash their hands, and avoid large crowds.

Vaccination appointments at the Coliseum appear to be available in about two weeks.

The vaccine clinic at the Memorial Coliseum will administer some Pfizer doses this week, which will require ultra cold storage.

But Sutter says that means the county is getting more vaccines from the state.

"We've struggled with the vaccine allocations and not getting as much vaccine as we'd like and as much as we can give. We still aren't at capacity yet with Pfizer, but we're getting more Pfizer doses in the state, and so that allows us more capacity in Allen County, and really more shots in arms in people in Allen County," Sutter said.

He's also optimistic about the single shot Johnson and Johnson vaccine being approved for emergency use.

"When it comes to getting moderate COVID disease, it's a little less effective than the Moderna and Pfizer. But in keeping people out of the hospital and keeping people not from dying, , which are really the outcomes we're interested in, it's still 100% effective," Sutter said.

We asked people what they thought about the new, lower age cut off for people to get vaccinated.

"Well I think it's a good idea. People who have confidence in the vaccine should be able to have access to it," Kamari Mbwelera said.

"I've talked to people that don't feel comfortable with it, don't want to get it. And I just thought it was the thing to do, and I thought it would serve the best interest of the people," Art Handshy told us.

"I think that's a really good thing. I think the more people get vaccinated will help so that we can get back and finally get this whole thing under control and go back to normal life," Katlyn Brents said.

Vaccination appointments at the Coliseum appear to be available in about two weeks.

Remember, there are two ways to schedule your coronavirus vaccine.

You can either go online to this website or you can call 211.

Corinne Rose

Corinne Rose is a reporter for WPTA.

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