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(INDIANAPOLIS) — Nearly two-million Hoosiers have gotten at least the first dose of the

coronavirus vaccine. Health officials are working on ways to reach about the same number who

could get the shot, but haven’t.

Marion County health director Virginia Caine says some people are skeptical of the vaccine, but

she says a larger factor is convenience and access. Even with more than 500 vaccination sites,

including 55 in Indy, she says some people either have trouble getting to a clinic or think it’s too

much trouble.

Caine expects the one-and-done Johnson and Johnson vaccine to make a dent in that problem,

attracting people who don’t want to make two appointments for the two-dose Pfizer or Moderna


Indiana health commissioner Kristina Box says the state has been mapping where vaccination

rates are the lowest, and comparing that information against maps of where Indiana’s low-income

residents live. She says many of those communities correspond to low-vaccination areas, with

many rural areas showing up on the list as well.

The state is ramping up efforts to reach as many people as possible before more-infectious virus

mutations take hold in Indiana. A second round of mass vaccinations at the Indianapolis Motor

Speedway begins Thursday — the Speedway will host 16 vaccination days in April. Next

Wednesday, the state will launch an eight-week drive-thru vaccination clinic at the former Gary

Roosevelt High School. That site is expected to vaccinate 114,000 people, administering the two-dose Pfizer vaccine the first six weeks and the Johnson and Johnson vaccine the final two weeks.

And a vaccination clinic last Friday at the Lafayette Subaru plant is the first in a series of

workplace clinics to be conducted by large employers.

Box and Caine say they’re increasing outreach as well. For the last mass vaccination in Gary, at

Calumet High School earlier this month, the state texted nearby residents to make sure they

knew about it, and vaccination appointments in Lake County jumped. Box says the state will be

repeating that strategy. IU Health conducted a mobile vaccine clinic in Indy last weekend, and

Marion County plans three more mobile clinics in April. The county will also award $1 million

in grants to community organizations to reach out to underserved populations and answer

questions about the vaccine.