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Indiana coronavirus updates for Sunday, Nov. 7, 2021

The latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic from Sunday, Nov. 7, 2021.

INDIANAPOLIS — Here are Sunday'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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Potential breakthrough with new pill to lessen COVID-19 symptoms

The makers of a new pill promise it will lessen the effects of COVID-19 symptoms. Meanwhile, Pfizer's new pill is said to cut rates of hospitalization and death by nearly 90%. But do these tools to fight coronavirus also mean fewer people need to get vaccinated?

Doctors still say vaccination will be the best way to protect yourself, but with tens of millions unvaccinated - these pills could be critical in curbing future waves of infections. 

Infectious Disease Dr. Monica Gandhi said both Pfizer and Merck's COVID-19 antiviral pill will be a game-changer for many people and while the news of the new pills is exciting, Gandhi says it's still so much better to prevent a disease than to treat it.

"I can see a future that even people who are vaccinated but have a mild breakthrough can take these medications and it would reduce transmission to others and very unlikely to get very ill," said Gandhi.

Latest US, world numbers

There have been more than 46.46 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States as of 5:30 a.m. Sunday, according to Johns Hopkins University. There have been more than 754,270 deaths recorded in the U.S.

Worldwide, there have been more than 249.62 million confirmed coronavirus cases with more than 5.04 million deaths and more than 7.23 billion vaccine doses 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.

Foreign citizens seek US-approved shots as travel resumes

The United States is about to reopen to fully vaccinated foreign travelers. And citizens of other countries who received shots widely used in other parts of the world are scrambling to get reinoculated with U.S.-approved jabs. 

The U.S. will implement a new air travel policy Monday to allow in foreign citizens who have completed a course of a vaccine approved by the Food and Drug Administration or the World Health Organization. That leaves people in Mexico, Hungary, Russia and elsewhere who received the non-approved Russian Sputnik V vaccine or the China-produced CanSino vaccine ineligible to board U.S.-bound flights. 

Some travelers are actively seeking out Western-approved shots so they can travel freely.

Appeals court stays vaccine mandate on larger businesses

 A federal appeals court on Saturday temporarily halted the Biden administration's vaccine requirement for businesses with 100 or more workers.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals granted an emergency stay of the requirement by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration that those workers be vaccinated by Jan. 4 or face mask requirements and weekly tests.

The 5th Circuit, based in New Orleans, said it was delaying the federal vaccine requirement because of potential “grave statutory and constitutional issues” raised by the plaintiffs. The government must provide an expedited reply to the motion for a permanent injunction Monday, followed by petitioners' reply on Tuesday.