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Indiana adds smokers to COVID-19 vaccine waitlist

INDIANAPOLIS (WOWO): Smokers, regardless of age, are now allowed to get on the coronavirus vaccine waitlist; and not everyone is pleased with that.

According to WISH-TV, the Indiana State Department of Health has added both smokers and those suffering from “severe obesity” to the list, saying they’re following guidelines set by the CDC.

“According to the CDC, smokers and people suffering severe obesity are at higher risk of severe illness or death and therefore can be considered for standby list,” a spokesperson said. “We follow the CDC’s recommendations.”

You have to contact a pharmacy that is currently administering the vaccines.

Some groups are expressing frustration over the move, including the Indiana State Teachers Association, who has been lobbying for months to have teachers included as “front line workers” currently eligible for the vaccine.

“We find it extremely frustrating that the Indiana State Department of Health continues to cherry pick from the CDC recommendations, when it very clearly states that educators should be getting vaccinated right now,” said Jennifer Smith-Margraf of the ISTA. “Our local members have been advocating at home with their own county health departments in order to get educators vaccinated and frankly what we hear back is county health departments really believe we should be getting vaccinated.”

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