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Indiana coronavirus updates for Saturday, May 14, 2022

The latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic for Saturday, May 14, 2022.

INDIANAPOLIS — Here are Saturday'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 5 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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Latest US, world numbers

There have been more than 82.41 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States as of 7 a.m. ET Saturday, according to Johns Hopkins University. There have been more than 999,510 deaths recorded in the U.S.

Worldwide, there have been more than 520.67 million confirmed coronavirus cases with more than 6.26 million deaths and more than 11.4 billion vaccine doses administered.

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.

Air Force cadets may not graduate due to vaccine refusal

Four cadets at the Air Force Academy may not graduate or be commissioned as military officers later this month because they have refused the COVID-19 vaccine, and they may be required to pay back thousands of dollars in tuition costs, according to Air Force officials. 

The Army and Navy said that, as of now, none of their seniors are being prevented from graduating at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., or the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, due to vaccine refusals. 

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin last year made the COVID-19 vaccinations mandatory for service members, including those at the military academies, saying the vaccine is critical to maintaining military readiness and the health of the force.

The graduations are scheduled to occur in the next two weeks.

North Korea reports 21 new deaths as it battles COVID-19 outbreak

North Korea has reported 21 new deaths and 174,440 more people with fever symptoms as the country scrambles to slow the spread of COVID-19 across its unvaccinated population. 

The deaths and cases, which were from Friday, increased total numbers to 27 deaths and 524,440 illnesses amid a rapid spread of fever since late April. State media didn’t specify how many of the fever cases and deaths were confirmed as COVID-19 infections. 

The country imposed nationwide lockdowns Thursday after confirming its first COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic.  

RELATED: North Korea reports 6 deaths after admitting COVID-19 outbreak

Biden urges world to renew COVID fight as US nears 1 million deaths

 President Joe Biden appealed to world leaders on Thursday for a renewed international commitment to attacking COVID-19 as he led the U.S. in marking the approaching “tragic milestone” of 1 million deaths at home from the virus. He ordered flags lowered to half-staff and warned against “complacency” around the globe. 

“This pandemic isn’t over,” Biden told the second global pandemic summit. “Today, we mark a tragic milestone here in the United States, 1 million COVID deaths — 1 million empty chairs around the family dinner table."

The coronavirus has killed more than 999,000 people in the U.S. and at least 6.2 million people globally since it emerged in late 2019, according to figures compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Biden issued a proclamation Thursday directing that U.S. flags be flown at half-staff through sunset on Monday to honor those who lost their lives to the virus.

The president called on Congress to provide more funding for testing, vaccines and treatments, something lawmakers have been unwilling to deliver so far.

The lack of funding — Biden has requested another $22.5 billion of what he calls critically needed money — is a reflection of faltering resolve at home that jeopardizes the global response to the pandemic.

Eight months after he used the first such summit to announce an ambitious pledge to donate 1.2 billion vaccine doses to the world, the urgency of the U.S. and other nations to respond has waned.

RELATED: Biden urges world to renew COVID fight as US nears 1 million deaths

US 'vulnerable' to COVID without new shots

The new White House COVID-19 coordinator is issuing a dire warning. He said in an Associated Press interview that the U.S. will be increasingly vulnerable to the coronavirus this fall and winter if Congress doesn’t swiftly approve new funding for more vaccines and treatments. 

Dr. Ashish Jha said in the interview Thursday that Americans’ immune protection from the virus is waning, the virus is adapting to be more contagious and booster doses for most people will be necessary — with the potential for enhanced protection from a new generation of shots.

"As we get to the fall, we are all going to have a lot more vulnerability to a virus that has a lot more immune escape than even it does today and certainly than it did six months ago,” Jha said. "That leaves a lot of us vulnerable.”

Jha predicted that the next generation of vaccines, which are likely to be targeted at the currently prevailing omicron strain, “are going to provide a much, much higher degree of protection against the virus that we will encounter in the fall and winter." But he warned that the U.S. is at risk of losing its place in line to other countries if Congress doesn't act in the next several weeks. 

Vaccine developer hid quality control problems from FDA, House report concludes

A Congressional investigation has concluded that a prominent vaccine development company misled federal oversight agencies on the capabilities of a Baltimore plant, ultimately destroying hundreds of millions of doses of COVID-19 vaccines as a result of the company's negligence. 

In a response, Emergent declared the report was "nothing new" and said the company had been "open and forthcoming" with both the FDA and Congress.

According to Tuesday's report from the Democrat-led House Committee on Oversight and Reform and the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, executives at Emergent BioSolutions failed to address deficiencies at the Maryland manufacturing site raised by the FDA. They were also aware of potential contamination and manufacturing issues brought forward by third parties like Johnson and Johnson and AstraZeneca "for years," according to one former executive. 

By reviewing internal emails, documents and interviews, the report concluded that nearly 400 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines were destroyed as a result of "poor quality control." The congressional report found the total number of discarded or destroyed doses was more than five times what had been previously disclosed by the company. It included 90 million doses that were manufactured after the Biden administration ordered the company to halt production last year after it was discovered vaccines had been cross-contaminated.

The company also said it disputes the claim that 400 million doses were "rendered unusable."

RELATED: Vaccine developer hid quality control problems from FDA, House report concludes

IPS K-8 school reinstates mask mandate due to rising COVID-19 cases

An Indianapolis school serving elementary and middle school students is reinstating its mask mandate due to rising COVID-19 cases. 

On Monday, Indianapolis Public School's Center for Inquiry School 84 began requiring students, staff and visitors to wear masks on buses and indoors.

Masks are also required for students, staff and visitors during community events and field trips. 

A statement from IPS said the school's mandate is temporary, and the district plans to drop the mandate on Tuesday, May 24. 

The school is located on the north side of Indianapolis at 440 E. 57th St., between Central Avenue and North Washington Boulevard.

2nd COVID-19 booster shot available to Hoosiers 50 and up

The Indiana Department of Health announced Wednesday that Hoosiers age 50 and older, as well as those 12 and older with weakened immune systems, are now eligible to receive a second mRNA COVID-19 booster shot at least four months after their first booster dose.

The announcement comes one day after the Food and Drug Administration authorized an extra dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine for that age group and and certain younger people with severely weakened immune systems.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention later recommended the extra shot as an option but stopped short of urging that those eligible rush out and get it right away.

The IDOH is advising vaccine providers that they can begin administering second boosters of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines to people who qualify.

The CDC also says that adults who received a primary vaccine and booster dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at least four months ago may now receive a second booster dose of either mRNA vaccine.

You can find a vaccine location at ourshot.in.gov or by calling Indiana 211 (866-211-9966). Appointments are recommended, but many sites do accept walk-ins.

Marion County COVID-19 vaccination and test clinics continue

The Marion County Public Health Department (MCPHD) continues to provide free COVID-19 vaccination and testing to anyone interested in receiving these services.

MCPHD is operating one COVID-19 testing site, which is a drive-thru clinic located at 3838 N. Rural St. in Indianapolis.

The clinic's current hours are Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. This clinic offers PCR testing only and no rapid testing. A list of additional test sites registered with the Indiana Department of Health is available at coronavirus.in.gov.

Appointments for COVID-19 testing at the MCPHD location are not required but are available by visiting marionhealth.org/indycovid or calling 317-221-5515.

MCPHD is also offering COVID-19 vaccines at its district health offices, ACTION Health Center, and four other locations in Marion County. Appointments for vaccines are not required but are recommended. 

Please visit ourshot.in.gov or call 2-1-1 to find a vaccination clinic.

Marion County clinic schedule

  • Northeast District Health Office, 6042 E. 21st St.
    Mondays: 12 p.m. - 4 p.m.
    Tuesdays: 3 p.m. - 7 p.m.
  • Eagledale Plaza Health Office, 2802 Lafayette Road
    Tuesdays: 8 a.m. - 12 p.m.
  • Northwest District Health Office, 6940 N. Michigan Road
    Thursdays: 3 p.m. - 7 p.m.
  • South District Health Office, 7551 S. Shelby St.
    Mondays: 3 p.m. - 7 p.m.
    Fridays: 8 a.m. - 12 p.m.
  • ACTION Health Center, 2868 N. Pennsylvania St.
    Wednesdays: 3 p.m. - 5 p.m.
  • Martindale-Brightwood Public Library Branch, 2435 N. Sherman Drive (ages 12-over only)
    Tuesday through Friday: 10 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
    Saturdays: 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.
  • College Avenue Public Library Branch, 4180 N. College Ave. (ages 12-over only)
    Tuesday through Friday: 10 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
    Saturdays: 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.
  • East 38th Street Public Library Branch, 5420 E. 38th St.  (ages 12-over only)
    Tuesday through Friday: 10 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
    Saturdays: 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.
  • IndyGo Carson Transit Center, 201 E. Washington St.  (ages 12-over only)
    Tuesdays: 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
    Wednesdays: 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
    Thursdays: 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.