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.
Walmart, Sam's Club now offering walk-in COVID-19 vaccines
Getting a shot in the arm just got easier. All Walmart and Sam’s Club pharmacy locations across Indiana are now accepting walk-in COVID-19 vaccine appointments.
Hoosiers can now walk into any of the retailers' pharmacies to get a vaccine. For those who would rather do the pre-vaccination paperwork before walking in, Walmart said to schedule an appointment ahead of time.
Walmart pharmacies are open seven days a week and Sam’s Club pharmacies are closed on Sunday. The pharmacies will be administering the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine and the two-shot Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. As an added bonus, Sam's Club doesn't require people to be a member to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
US to shift COVID vaccines amid waning demand
The Biden administration will begin shifting how it allocates COVID-19 shots to states, moving doses from states with lower demand to those with stronger interest in vaccines, an administration official said Tuesday.
The change away from a strict by-population allocation comes as demand for the coronavirus vaccines has dropped nationwide, but especially precipitously in some areas, with some states turning down part or all of their weekly dose allotments. The federal government will now shift some of those doses to areas with higher demand, in an effort to speed shots in those areas.
The administration says those states would have the shots available whenever demand for vaccines in their states increases — a key priority of the Biden administration.
Kroger Boone County clinic
Kroger is planning a special vaccination clinic for Boone County on Friday. It will be held at the CNH Industrial complex in Lebanon.
“We know that the most effective defense against this pandemic comes in the form of the COVID-19 vaccine and the continuation of the safety precautions we established in our stores and other Kroger facilities,” said Greg Fox, pharmacist and Health & Wellness Merchandiser for Kroger Central Division. “This clinic is open to CNH employees and to anyone else in the area who desires a vaccine.”
The times for the clinic will be noon to 1:30 p.m. and then 3:30 to 4 p.m. People car visit www.kroger.com/covidvaccine to make appointments.
The clinic will be administering the Moderna vaccine.
The state is reporting 27,000 more Hoosiers are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. That brings the total fully vaccinated in Indiana to just under two million people.
The state also reported 824 new cases of COVID-19 and 12 additional deaths. The death toll for the state is now at 12,950.
Vaccine walk-ins at Indianapolis east side clinic
The Marion County Public Health Department is accepting people 18 and older for walk-in appointments for Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines at the COVID-19 vaccine clinic at 9503 E. 33rd St.
Pre-registration is still recommended to guarantee dose availability and reduce time completing paperwork.
"Vaccines are our route to more freedom and safety," said Dr. Virginia Caine, director and chief medical officer of the Health Department. "Along with continuing to mask up and distance from individuals not in our household, getting the vaccine is our best protection from COVID-19 and the variant strains we continue to see spreading."
The clinic is open during the following hours:
- Tuesdays: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
- Wednesdays and Thursdays: 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.
- Fridays: 8 a.m. – 3 p.m.
- Saturdays: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
- Sundays and Mondays: closed
IndyGo has partnered with the Health Department to slightly divert route 87 to provide access to the clinic for IndyGo riders.
Restrictions easing in US and Europe amid disaster in India
Pandemic-weary travelers are returning to the skies and casinos in the United States and eating out again in Greece as the vaccine rollout is sending news cases and deaths tumbling in more affluent countries, contrasting with a worsening disaster in India.
In the U.S., the average number of new cases per day fell below 50,000 for the first time since October.
Nearly 1.67 million people were screened at U.S. airport checkpoints on Sunday, the highest mark since the virus took hold over a year ago.
FDA expected to OK Pfizer vaccine for teens within week
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is expected to authorize Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine for kids ages 12 to 15 by next week, setting up shots for many before the beginning of the next school year. That's according to a federal official and a person familiar with the process.
The FDA action would be followed by a meeting of a federal vaccine advisory committee to discuss whether to recommend the shot for 12 to 15-year-olds.
Then the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would act on the committee’s recommendation. Those steps could be completed in a matter of days.
India crosses 20 million COVID infections
COVID-19 infections and deaths are mounting with alarming speed in India with no end in sight to the crisis and a top expert warning that the coming weeks in the country of nearly 1.4 billion people will be "horrible."
India's official count of coronavirus cases surpassed 20 million Tuesday, nearly doubling in the past three months, while deaths officially have passed 220,000.
Staggering as those numbers are, the true figures are believed to be far higher, the undercount an apparent reflection of the troubles in the health care system.
Latest US, world numbers
There have been more than 32.4 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 577,500 deaths in the U.S.
Worldwide, there have been more than 153.5 million confirmed cases with more than 3.2 million deaths and 90.2 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.