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Latest Indiana coronavirus updates for Sunday, January 17, 2021

The latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic from Sunday, Jan. 17.

INDIANAPOLIS — Sunday's latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic.

State reports 3,228 new cases, 24 additional deaths

The Indiana State Department of Health is reporting 3,228 new COVID-19 cases and 24 additional deaths Sunday.

That brings to 590,211 the number of Hoosiers now known to have contracted the novel coronavirus. A total of 8,936 Hoosiers are confirmed to have died from COVID-19, with another 374 believed to have died with clinical symptoms of the virus but no positive test on record.

Nearly 61,000 vaccinated in Indiana

The Indiana State Department of Health reported nearly 297,000 Hoosiers have received their first dose of vaccine, and nearly 61,000 have been fully vaccinated as of Saturday.

Hoosiers age 70 and older, healthcare workers, long-term care residents and first responders are currently eligible to receive a free COVID-19 vaccine. To schedule, visit https://ourshot.in.gov or call 211. Additional locations and appointments are being added as more vaccine becomes available.

Vaccine skepticism hurts East European anti-virus efforts

Across the Balkans and other nations in southeastern Europe, a vaccination campaign against the coronavirus is being overshadowed by heated political debates or conspiracy theories that threaten to thwart the process. 

In the Czech Republic, Serbia, Bosnia, Romania and Bulgaria, vaccine skeptics have ranged from former presidents to top athletes and doctors. Nations that once routinely went through mass inoculations under Communist leaders are deeply split over whether to take the vaccines at all. 

There's also a split in Serbia over which vaccine to take: the Western-made Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, Russia’s Sputnik V or China's Sinopharm. It's yet another source of division in a country where many favor closer ties with Moscow.

Latest US, world numbers

There have been more than 23.75 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States as of 5:30 a.m. ET Sunday, according to Johns Hopkins University. There have been more than 395,850 deaths in the U.S. 

Worldwide, there have been more than 94.54 million confirmed cases with more than 2.02 million deaths and 52 million recoveries.

RELATED: See where confirmed Indiana coronavirus cases are with this interactive map

RELATED: Here's how and when you can get the COVID-19 vaccine in Indiana

The real number of people infected by the virus around the world is believed to be much higher — perhaps 10 times higher in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — given testing limitations and the many mild cases that have gone unreported or unrecognized.

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.

MCPHD testing, vaccine sites closed for MLK Day

The Marion County Public Health Department will be closed Monday, Jan. 18 for Martin Luther King Jr. Day. That includes the COVID-19 vaccine clinic and drive-thru COVID-19 testing sites.

The sites will return to regular business hours Tuesday, Jan. 19.