By Jesse Kirsch, ABC 7 Chicago
Indiana has opened COVID vaccine appointments to all residents 16 and older Wednesday.
Residents can make an appointment by dialing 211 or visiting the state website ourshot.in.gov.
Among the first younger recipients at a vaccination site in East Chicago was clinic volunteer Elder Guzman who called it his moment to shine.
“I do have people in my household that are more at risk than I am and to know that I can protect them and protect myself, is amazing,” Guzman said.
“The more people that are vaccinated, the less likely the increase spread of disease,” said Diana Garcia Burns, East Chicago Health Department director. “Our COVID cases are ticking upward, so it’s important.”
Governor Eric Holcomb is preparing to lift the state’s mask mandate next week. Garcia Burns said East Chicago will still have a mask mandate in place.
Indiana reports 1,127 new cases
Indiana public health officials announced 1,127 new COVID-19 cases and 1 additional deaths on Wednesday.
Overall, 12,633 Indiana residents have died from COVID-19 and 686,497 have contracted it since the start of the pandemic.
Health officials say the latest recorded seven-day positive COVID-19 test rate in the state is 3.9%. Health officials say there have been more than 8.9 million tests administered.
This article originally appeared on ABC 7 Chicago.