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Indiana coronavirus updates for Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2021

The latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic from Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2021.

INDIANAPOLIS — Here are Tuesday'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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Pfizer asks US officials to approve COVID-19 pill

Pfizer said Tuesday it is asking U.S. regulators to authorize its experimental pill for COVID-19, setting the stage for a likely launch of the promising therapy in the coming weeks. 

It is one of a handful of pills that have recently been shown to significantly cut hospitalizations and deaths among people infected with COVID-19. If authorized by the Food and Drug Administration it could be a major step toward managing the pandemic and returning to normal, offering an easy, effective way for patients people to treat themselves at home. 

All FDA authorized treatments against COVID-19 require an IV or injection given by a health professional at a hospital or clinic.

FDA regulators will scrutinize company data on the safety and effectiveness of the drug, which will be sold as Paxlovid, before making a decision.

Several smaller drugmakers are also expected to seek authorization for their own antiviral pills in coming months.

ISDH update

The Indiana State Department of Health reported 2,830 new positive cases of COVID-19 as of Tuesday morning, bringing the total number of cases in the state to 1,058,379.

There were 42 additional deaths from COVID-19 reported on Tuesday, which brings the total number of deaths in the state to 16,577.

The state also reported 2,130 new fully vaccinated individuals, bringing the total to 3,404,713. As of Tuesday, 36,573 kids age 5-11 had received the first dose of the vaccine.

Latest US, world numbers

There have been more than 47.22 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States as of 3:30 a.m. Tuesday, according to Johns Hopkins University. There have been more than 764,300 deaths recorded in the U.S.

Worldwide, there have been more than 253.88 million confirmed coronavirus cases with more than 5.1 million deaths and more than 7.52 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.

Counties still waiting for new supply of pediatric COVID-19 vaccine

On Monday, health officials in Madison and Boone counties said they are still waiting for more doses of the pediatric COVID-19 vaccine.  

Other central Indiana health departments have reported either running low on the vaccine or not having issues.  

Marion, Morgan, Putnam and Johnson counties said they are confident in their supply and have enough for everyone that is eligible. Hancock, Shelby and Hamilton counties have reported a limited supply.  

On Monday, Hamilton County received another shipment of pediatric vaccines, but is still asking families to schedule an appointment.  

The Indiana State Department of Health issued the following statement:

"The Indiana Department of Health received an initial allocation of 212,000 doses of pediatric vaccine. Those doses were allocated to counties and sites based on population. Some sites saw high demand and ran through their allocations quickly and requested additional vaccines from the state’s allocation. When we get these requests, we look at sites where vaccine uptake is lower and shift doses around when possible. This is the same process we followed when adult vaccines were initially rolled out. 

The pediatric vaccine shipments were sent in waves, and the final doses from the state’s initial allocation were received last week. Going forward, providers will order their pediatric vaccines themselves and those doses will be shipped directly to them, not through IDOH."

Austria orders nationwide lockdown for the unvaccinated

The Austrian government has ordered a nationwide lockdown for unvaccinated people to combat rising coronavirus infections and deaths. The lockdown started Sunday at midnight. 

The move prohibits unvaccinated people 12 and older from leaving their homes except for basic activities such as work, grocery shopping, going for a walk — or getting vaccinated. Authorities are concerned that hospital staff will no longer be able to handle the growing influx of COVID-19 patients. 

The lockdown affects about 2 million people in the Alpine country of 8.9 million and will initially last for 10 days. Police patrols will be stepped up, and people outside could have their vaccination status checked.

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