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Indiana coronavirus updates for Friday, Oct. 22, 2021

The latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic from Friday, Oct. 22, 2021.

INDIANAPOLIS — Here are Friday'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 Hoosiers 12 and older 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.

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Indiana to begin offering Moderna, J&J COVID-19 booster shots

The Indiana State Department of Health will begin offering booster doses of Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccine to eligible Hoosiers.

The booster shots are available to following people:

  • Individuals who received a Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at least six months ago who fall into the following groups:
  • Anyone 18 or older who got the single dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine two or more months ago.

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Booster doses of the Pfizer vaccine have been available since late September.

People eligible for the booster shots are able to choose what brand of the vaccine they want to receive.

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"The approval of the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson boosters will help provide additional protection to many Hoosiers, especially our most vulnerable residents in long-term care facilities and others who are most at risk," said State Health Commissioner Dr. Kris Box. "The COVID-19 vaccines continue to provide strong protection against severe illness and death. Whether Hoosiers are getting their first dose or a booster shot, they will find vaccines widely available across the state."

Those eligible for the booster shots can schedule it by clicking here or calling 211 for assistance.

ISDH update

The state is reporting 22 more deaths from COVID-19. That brings the total number of deaths from coronavirus to 15,930. An additional 1,897 new cases of COVID-19 were also reported in Indiana on Friday.

The state said 2,747 more Hoosiers are fully vaccinated. That brings the total vaccinated in Indiana to nearly 3.35 million.

Pfizer says COVID-19 vaccine more than 90% effective in kids

Kid-size doses of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine appear safe and nearly 91% effective at preventing symptomatic infections in 5- to 11-year-olds, according to study details released Friday as the U.S. considers opening vaccinations to that age group.

The shots could begin early next month — with the first children in line fully protected by Christmas — if regulators give the go-ahead.

Details of Pfizer's study posted online Friday. Advisers to the Food and Drug Administration will publicly debate the evidence next week.

The FDA is expected to post its independent review of the company's safety and effectiveness data later Friday. If the FDA ultimately authorizes the shots, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will make the final decision on who should receive them in early November.

More than 25,000 pediatricians and primary care providers already have signed up to get the shots into little arms.

CDC approves all 3 COVID-19 vaccine boosters, mixing-and-matching doses

Millions more Americans can get a COVID-19 booster and choose a different company’s vaccine for that next shot, federal health officials said Thursday.

Certain people who received Pfizer vaccinations months ago already are eligible for a booster and now the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says specific Moderna and Johnson & Johnson recipients qualify, too. And in a bigger change, the agency is allowing the flexibility of “mixing and matching" that extra dose regardless of which type people received first.

The Food and Drug Administration had already authorized such an expansion of the nation's booster campaign on Wednesday, and it was also endorsed Thursday by a CDC advisory panel. 

There still are restrictions on who qualifies and when for a booster. Starting six months past their last Pfizer or Moderna vaccination, people are urged to get a booster if they're 65 or older, nursing home residents, or at least 50 and at increased risk of severe disease because of health problems. Boosters also were allowed, but not urged, for adults of any age at increased risk of infection because of health problems or their jobs or living conditions. That includes health care workers, teachers and people in jails or homeless shelters.

Moderna's booster will come at half the dose of the original two shots.

As for recipients of the single-shot J&J vaccine, a COVID-19 booster is recommended for everyone at least two months after their vaccination. That's because the J&J vaccine hasn't proved as protective as the two-dose Moderna or Pfizer options.

Latest US, world numbers

There have been more than 45.3 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States as of 3:30 a.m. Friday according to Johns Hopkins University. There have been more than 733,200 deaths recorded in the U.S.

Worldwide, there have been more than 242.5 million confirmed coronavirus cases with more than 4.92 million deaths. More than 6.73 billion vaccine doses have been administered worldwide.

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.

Pfizer booster shot restores vaccine efficacy to 95.6%, according to recent study

Pfizer announced Thursday morning that data from its Phase 3 trial found the booster dose of its COVID-19 vaccine was highly effective in protecting against the coronavirus, including the delta variant. 

The company said its trial included more than 10,000 individuals and found the Pfizer-BioNTech booster showed a vaccine efficacy of 95.6% when compared to those who did not receive a booster.

Pfizer said booster shots were administered approximately 11 months, on average, after trial participants received their second dose of the vaccine. 

During the study, there were only five cases of COVID-19 in the booster group and 109 cases in the group of individuals who received a placebo.