GREENSBURG — COVID-19 vaccine eligibility has been expanded to persons 80 years of age and older as of Wednesday.

According to information provided by the Decatur County Health Department, seniors 80 and over have been selected to be among the first to receive the vaccine because they are at a higher risk for severe illness from the virus.

The vaccine provides another level of protection to keep you and your loved ones safe, a flyer from the local Health Department states.

“The Decatur County Health Department will begin vaccinations on Monday, January 11, with a limited number of doses,” Decatur County Public Health Coordinator and Environmental Health Specialist Sean Durbin said Wednesday.

Daily News readers are encouraged to visit ourshot.in.gov to find the nearest vaccination site.

The DCHD shared the following facts about the vaccine:

The vaccine has received Emergency Use Authorization from the Food and Drug Administration after completing three phases of testing involving 43,000 participants.

The Centers for Disease and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices has reviewed the vaccine and recommends it use.

The Indiana Department of Health’s external advisory committee of experts has reviewed the clinical trial data and also approves its administration.

The vaccine is available at no cost.

It is a two-part vaccine, so a second dose is needed 21 or 28 days after the first dose, depending on the vaccine’s manufacturer.

The Health Department urges area residents to continue to wear a mask, stay physically distant from others, and wash their hands even after being fully vaccinated.

Based on clinical trials on thousands of people, the vaccine has shown to be at least 94% effective at preventing COVID-19 for all adults regardless of age, race, gender or ethnicity.

Few side effects have been reported, though 2% of those who have been vaccinated report headaches and 4% report fatigue. The vaccination injection site may also be sore or tender.

Study participants reached full effectiveness seven days after receiving the second dose of the vaccine.

Those persons who do not have access to a computer and the internet may call 211 to register for a vaccination.

Questions may be directed to the Health Department at 812-663-8301.

Kevin Green: news@greensburgdailynews.com or 812-663-3111 x 217056.

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