INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Ongoing resistance to COVID-19 vaccinations has Indiana’s top health official worried that trend could reduce the rate of immunizations for the flu and other diseases.
State Health Commissioner Dr. Kristina Box said Wednesday that Indiana’s hospital system remained stressed even though the recent steep surge in COVID-19 hospitalizations has decline slightly over the past couple weeks.
Box spoke at a drive-through clinic near the Indianapolis Motor Speedway where the state health department is offering free COVID-19 and flu vaccinations and COVID-19 testing.
Indiana has the country’s 14th lowest COVID-19 vaccination rate with about 48% of residents fully vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Box said Indiana’s COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths could rise again as they did during a major surge last winter and she urged more people to get the vaccine shots.
“I do have some concerns about that that this bleed off with COVID vaccines and the political nature that has surrounded that will then bleed off into other childhood vaccines and influenza vaccines that people tend to get on a yearly basis,” Box said.