INDIANAPOLIS — Here are Tuesday's latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic, including the latest news on COVID-19 vaccinations and testing in Indiana. Registrations for the vaccine are now open for select groups through the Indiana State Department of Health. This story will be updated over the course of the day with more news on the COVID-19 pandemic.
Amazon to vaccinate 20,000 Indiana employees and their families
Amazon hosted an on-site vaccine event for its employees and their families on Tuesday.
In Indiana alone, Amazon said it will roll out the vaccine to 20,000 employees and their families or other people living in their employees' households.
During the event at their facility in Greenwood, Amazon vaccinated its frontline employees against COVID-19.
The event is part of Amazon's ongoing effort to get frontline employees across the U.S. vaccinated. Amazon said this endeavor has been scaled across the country as more vaccines become available to frontline employees in other states.
Indy airport reminds travelers mask mandate is still in effect
The Indianapolis International Airport on Tuesday reminded travelers that masks are still required at the airport despite the statewide mask mandate having expired.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) extended the face mask requirement for airports, over-the-road buses, commuter buses, rail systems, and other transportation networks across the United States. The extension lasts until Sept. 13.
Children under 2-years-old and people with certain disabilities are exempt from the requirement. Those who are not exempt and don't wear a mask can face a $250 fine that can increase to as much as $1,500 for repeat offenders.
According to the airport, passengers who refuse to wear a face mask won't be allowed to enter the terminal or the gate area.
ISDH daily update
Nearly 23,000 more Hoosiers are fully vaccinated as of Tuesday, ISDH reports. That brings Indiana's total to 2,167,259 individuals who are fully vaccinated.
The state is also reporting 687 new positive cases of COVID-19 and 15 additional deaths from the virus. To date, Indiana has recorded 730,969 positive cases and 13,018 deaths from the coronavirus.
More than half of all Hoosiers have been tested for the virus, with more than 10 million tests being administered to more than 3.4 million individuals since the start of the pandemic.
Children 12 and older can get Pfizer vaccine in Indiana starting Thursday
The Indiana State Department of Health provided an update on the state's vaccination efforts after the Food and Drug Administration approved Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine for children as young as 12.
According to the ISDH website, Hoosiers 12 and older will be eligible for the Pfizer vaccine in Indiana beginning Thursday, May 13 at 8 a.m.
The next step is for the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to make a recommendation, which is expected late Wednesday.
Hoosiers 16 and older can now register to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
ISDH said Monday about 2.14 million Hoosiers — or 39.3% of Indiana’s roughly 5.3 million residents ages 16 and older — have been fully vaccinated.
Poll: Most in US who remain unvaccinated need convincing
Fewer Americans are reluctant to get a COVID-19 vaccine than just a few months ago, but questions about side effects and how the shots were tested still hold some back, according to a new poll that highlights the challenges at a pivotal moment in the U.S. vaccination campaign.
Just 11% of people who remain unvaccinated say they definitely will get the shot, while 34% say they definitely won't, according to the poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.
That leaves a large swath of Americans in the middle who might still roll up their sleeves — including 27% who say they probably will and 27% who say they probably won't — if someone credible addressed their concerns.
Pfizer COVID-19 shot expanded to US children as young as 12
The U.S. is expanding the use of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine to children as young as 12. The Food and Drug Administration announced Monday that the shot is safe and offers strong protection for younger teens based on testing of more than 2,000 U.S. volunteers.
Shots could begin soon once a federal vaccine panel issues recommendations for using the vaccine in 12- to 15-year-olds. Most vaccines rolling out worldwide have been authorized for adults.
The latest news is a big welcome for U.S. families struggling to decide what activities are safe to resume when the youngest family members remain unvaccinated.
Taiwan tracing new cases, restricts gatherings
Taiwan reported seven domestic COVID-19 cases with the source of six of the infections still under investigation, its Central Epidemic Command Center said Tuesday.
Five cases were discovered in a gaming café in Yilan county on Taiwan’s eastern coast. Another was found in New Taipei City, just outside the capital. None of the cases had any history of international travel. Health authorities are doing contact tracing to determine the source of the infection.
The seventh was a person already in quarantine who had been in contact with a cluster discovered in recent weeks after pilots working for Taiwan’s China Airlines tested positive. Over 30 cases have been discovered so far.
In response, health authorities said they will ban indoor gatherings of more than 100 people and ban outdoor gatherings of more than 500 people.
Taiwan has been a success story throughout the pandemic, keeping deaths and cases to a minimum with strict border controls and a mandatory two-week quarantine for arrivals. It has counted 1,210 cases of COVID-19 to date, with the vast majority imported and some cases of domestic transmission.
Latest US, world numbers
There have been more than 32.74 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States as of 4 a.m. ET Tuesday, according to Johns Hopkins University. There have been more than 582,100 deaths in the U.S.
Worldwide there have been more than 158.95 million confirmed coronavirus cases with more than 3.3 million deaths and 95 million recoveries.
The actual number of people infected by the virus around the world is believed to be much higher — perhaps 10 times higher in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — given testing limitations and the many mild cases that have gone unreported or unrecognized.
For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness like pneumonia, or death.