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Indiana coronavirus updates for Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021

The latest updates on the COVID-19 pandemic from Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021.

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 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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US panel backs COVID-19 boosters only for elderly, high-risk

An influential federal advisory panel — from an influential committee of outside experts who advise the Food and Drug Administration — has soundly rejected a plan to offer Pfizer booster shots against COVID-19 to most Americans.

In a surprising turn, the advisory panel rejected, 16-2, boosters for almost everyone. Members cited a lack of safety data on extra doses and also raised doubts about the value of mass boosters, rather than ones targeted to specific groups.

Then, in an 18-0 vote, it endorsed extra shots for people 65 and older and those at risk of serious disease. Panel members also agreed that health workers and others who run a high risk of being exposed to the virus on the job should get boosters, too.

During several hours of vigorous debate Friday, members of the panel questioned the value of offering boosters to almost everybody 16 and over.

“I don’t think a booster dose is going to significantly contribute to controlling the pandemic,” said Dr. Cody Meissner of Tufts University. “And I think it’s important that the main message we transmit is that we’ve got to get everyone two doses.”

Dr. Amanda Cohn of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said, "At this moment, it is clear that the unvaccinated are driving transmission in the United States.”

Latest US, world numbers

There have been more than 41.99 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States as of 6 a.m. Saturday, according to Johns Hopkins University. There have been more than 672,600 deaths recorded in the U.S.

Worldwide, there have been more than 227.68 million confirmed coronavirus cases with more than 4.68 million deaths. More than 5.87 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.

Indiana testing and vaccine clinics this week

The Indiana Department of Health is offering mobile vaccination clinics in the following counties this week to provide testing and vaccinations: Boone, Carroll, Clark, Delaware, Elkhart, Floyd, Franklin, Gibson, Johnson, LaPorte, Lawrence, Madison, Marion, Marshall, Martin, Monroe, Morgan, Orange, Pulaski, St. Joseph, Sullivan, Tippecanoe, Vigo and Wells.

COVID-19 vaccines will also be offered on the following schedule:

Saturday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.:
Wendell Willkie Days
Edward Jones Parking Lot, 325 N. Main St., Rushville, IN 46173

Hoosiers in the ZIP codes where the clinics are located will receive a text message or email informing them of the locations and services offered.