INDIANAPOLIS — Here are Thursday'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 all Hoosiers 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.
Appointments urged for parents wanting to get young children vaccinated
The Indiana Department of Health is asking Hoosier parents to get appointments for vaccinations for their children. The request is for parents of children between the ages of 6 months and 5 years.
Parents can contact the vaccine site listed at www.ourshot.in.gov or call 211 for assistance.
CDC map shows Dubois at 'high risk,' 20 other Indiana counties at 'medium' risk
On Thursday, June 23, 2022, Dubois County was listed on the CDC data map as having a "high" community risk of spreading COVID-19, while 20 other counties (Benton, Blackford, Carroll, Clark, Clinton, Crawford, Delaware, Elkhart, Floyd, Fountain, Harrison, Kosciusko, Lawrence, Orange, Randolph, Scott, Shelby, Tippecanoe, Washington and White) were listed as "medium" risks.
Latest US, world numbers
There have been more than 86.63 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States as of 4:30 a.m. ET Thursday, according to Johns Hopkins University. There have been more than 1.014 million deaths recorded in the U.S.
Worldwide, there have been more than 541.37 million confirmed coronavirus cases with more than 6.32 million deaths and more than 11.62 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.
Indiana hospital systems getting vaccines for young kids this week
Last week, the Indiana Department of Health said it submitted the first batch of orders for 20,100 doses of pediatric Moderna and 37,700 doses of pediatric Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines. Some health providers have already gotten the shots in, while others expect to receive them this week.
IU Health told 13News Monday it had received the Moderna vaccine for children ages 6 months old to 5 years old.
"Vaccines will be offered at COVID-19 vaccination sites during evening hours and Saturdays at five primary care locations beginning this week," IU Health said in a statement.
Parents interested in getting their young children vaccinated against COVID-19 should call 211 or go to ourshot.in.gov to schedule an appointment.
Community Health Network said it expects to receive shipments at family and pediatric practices this week.
On Saturday, advisers to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended the vaccines for the littlest children, and the final signoff came hours later from Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the agency's director.
Hoosier kids, teens below national average for COVID-19 vaccines
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the percentage of vaccinated kids ages 5-17 in Indiana falls well below the rate across the country.
About 20% of Indiana kids ages 5-11 are fully vaccinated, compared to about 30% nationwide. For Hoosier kids ages 12-17, about 43% are fully vaccinated, compared to about 60% nationwide.
White House offering additional 8 free COVID-19 tests to public
The government website for people to request free COVID-19 at-home tests from the U.S. government is now accepting a third round of orders.
The White House recently announced that U.S. households can request an additional eight free at-home tests to be shipped by the U.S. Postal Service.
President Joe Biden committed in January to making 1 billion tests available to the public free of charge, including 500 million available through covidtests.gov. But just 350 million of the amount available for ordering online have been shipped to date to addresses across the continental U.S., its territories and overseas military bases, the White House said.
People who have difficulty getting online or need help placing an order can call 1-800-232-0233 for assistance.
The third round brings to 16 the total number of free tests available to each U.S. household since the program started earlier this year. Households were eligible to receive four tests during each of two earlier rounds of ordering through the website.
2nd COVID-19 booster shot available to Hoosiers 50 and up
The Indiana Department of Health announced 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 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 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 to 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.