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HAMILTON COUNTY, Ind. — Today’s the day many Hoosiers have been waiting for.

Over 86,000 Hoosiers in the 80 years and older age range have signed up to receive their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine today. It may bring a sense of relief, a light at the end of a long tunnel for many older Hoosiers, but the pandemic isn’t over quite yet.

Christian Walker, the Public Health Coordinator of the Hamilton County Health Department says precautions are still necessary.

“This is the start of that light, this should be that twinkling little star right now, “ Walker tells WISH-TV, “but the thing to remember is once you receive both of those doses, you still need to wear that mask.”

There are currently two available coronavirus vaccines in the United States: one from Moderna and the other from Pfizer. Pfizer’s vaccine is stated to be about 95-percent effective against COVID-19, according to the company. However, Walker stresses the importance of Hoosiers taking action to protect themselves.

Walker tells WISH-TV, “the highest effectiveness we have right now is 95-percent, which is great, but 95-percent isn’t 100-percent.”

The Hamilton County Health Department hopes to have at least 800 people vaccinated by the end of the week.

Walker says mass vaccination is the goal, but until then, Hoosiers have to stay safe.

“Until we can effectively get a large portion of the population vaccinated, we still need to use those protective measures,” Walker tells WISH-TV, “wearing the mask, washing hands, social distancing, limiting contacts, all the things we’ve been talking about for the last year.”

You can register here to schedule your COVID-19 vaccination.