INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana health officials provided an update on COVID-19 and its impact in Indiana Wednesday.
State Health Commissioner Kris Box, M.D., FACOG, and Chief Medical Officer Lindsay Weaver, M.D., FACEP, spoke during a press conference at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where the Indiana Department of Health is holding a five-week clinic of free COVID-19 vaccinations and testing.
Box said the number of COVID-19 cases in Indiana has dropped for the third consecutive week. Across the U.S., Box said cases have declined by about 12% in the last two weeks.
"A decline for three weeks is certainly a cause for optimism," Box said. "Despite these improvements, many of our hospitals continued to be stressed."
In regards to hospitalizations, Box said more than 95% of patients admitted to Indiana hospitals with COVID-19 are unvaccinated.
"We continue to see vulnerable populations not get vaccinated," Box said. "I'm especially concerned about our pregnant individuals across the state. Data now clearly shows COVID-19 is associated with more severe disease in people who are pregnant than those women who are age-matched and not pregnant."
Weaver then spoke on vaccine data in the state and said there's plenty of supply of the Pfizer vaccine to provide booster doses to the more than 1.6 million people age 18 and older who got the Pfizer vaccine series in Indiana.
As of Wednesday, Weaver said more than 35,000 Hoosiers age 18 and older have gotten a third dose of the Pfizer vaccine six months or more after the second shot. Weaver said this includes people who are immunocompromised who received a third dose to help increase their immune response when that was approved in August, as well as those who received a booster dose when it became available last week.
"The boosters provide an extra level of protection to our most vulnerable Hoosiers, but the best protection is to get your first dose," Weaver said.
Weaver said nearly 56% of eligible Hoosiers are fully vaccinated as of Wednesday. She also said one-third of children ages 12-16 in Indiana are vaccinated.
The IMS clinic is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from noon to 8 p.m. through Oct. 30. The clinic is in the IndyCar parking lot at 4551 W. 16th St. across from Gate 2.
The two-dose Pfizer vaccine, which has been fully approved by the Food & Drug Administration, and single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine are offered at the clinic. The flu vaccine is available, while supplies last.
No appointments are required for flu vaccinations, which are available to everyone, regardless of insurance status. However, all applicable insurance coverage will be billed for seasonal influenza vaccine.