Indiana coronavirus updates for Aug. 15, 2022

Monday’s latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic for Aug. 15, 2022.

INDIANAPOLIS — Here are Monday’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 Department of Health. This story will be updated over the course of the day with more news on the COVID-19 pandemic.

RELATED: Here’s everything we know about the COVID-19 vaccine

RELATED: Biden administration launches covid.gov site

EU could OK combined COVID vaccines next month

Germany’s health minister says European Union drug regulators may authorize the use of vaccines that are effective against two variants of the coronavirus.

German Health Minister Karl Lauterbach said he expected the European Medicines Agency to meet Sept. 1 to consider a vaccine that would provide protection against the original virus and the omicron variant.

He says the EU agency would likely meet again on Sept. 27 to review a combined vaccine against the original virus and omicron offshoot BA.5, which is responsible for the latest global surge in COVID-19 cases.

Germany has procured sufficient amounts of both vaccines and would be able to start rolling them out a day after they received authorization, he said.

The US Food and Drug Administration has said that combination vaccines, known as “bivalent” or “multivalent” shots, will allow boosters to retain the proven benefits of original coronavirus vaccines while providing additional protection against new variants.

Such an approach is used with flu shots, which are adjusted each year depending on the variants that are circulating and can protect against four influenza strains.

Lauterbach, a trained epidemiologist, said the potential for the coronavirus to keep mutating remained high.

Latest US, world numbers

There have been more than 92.92 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States as of 3 am ET Monday, according to Johns Hopkins University. There have been more than 1,037 million deaths recorded in the US

Worldwide, there have been more than 590.33 million confirmed coronavirus cases with more than 6.43 million deaths and more than 12.02 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.

CDC map shows 60 Indiana counties at ‘high risk’ of spreading COVID-19

On Monday morning, Aug. 15, 2022, nearly two thirds of Indiana was classified in the high-risk category for spreading COVID-19.

The counties listed on the CDC data map as having a “high” community risk of spreading COVID-19 include (listed alphabetically): Allen, Bartholomew, Benton, Blackford, Brown, Cass, Clark, Clay, Clinton, Crawford, Daviess, Dearborn , Decatur, Dekalb, Delaware, Dubois, Floyd, Fountain, Franklin, Fulton, Grant, Greene, Hancock, Harrison, Henry, Howard, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson, Jennings, Johnson, Knox, Lake, Lawrence, Madison, Marion, Miami , Morgan, Noble, Orange, Parke, Perry, Pike, Porter, Pulaski, Putnam, Randolph, Ripley, Rush, Scott, Shelby, Steuben, Sullivan, Tipton, Vermillion, Vigo, Wabash, Warren, Washington, White.

There were also 26 more Indiana counties listed as “medium” risks, including Hamilton and Hendricks.

Adams, Boone, Montgomery, Starke, Union and Wells are the only counties listed as “low” risks for spreading COVID-19 as of Monday.

Over the past seven days, Indiana has recorded 16,343 new cases and 68 deaths.

CDC drops quarantine, distancing recommendations for COVID-19

The nation’s top public health agency relaxed its COVID-19 guidelines Thursday, dropping the recommendation that Americans quarantine themselves if they come into close contact with an infected person.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also said people no longer need to stay at least 6 feet away from others.

The changes, which come more than 2 1/2 years after the start of the pandemic, are driven by a recognition that an estimated 95% of Americans 16 and older have acquired some level of immunity, either from being vaccinated or infected, agency officials said.

“The current conditions of this pandemic are very different from those of the last two years,” said the CDC’s Greta Massetti, an author of the guidelines.

Many places around the country long ago abandoned social distancing and other once-common precautions, but some of the changes could be particularly important for schools, which summarize classes this month in many parts of the country.

Perhaps the biggest education-related change is the end of the recommendation that schools do routine daily testing, although that practice can be reinstated in certain situations during a surge in infections, officials said.

The CDC also dropped a “test-to-stay” recommendation, which said students exposed to COVID-19 could regularly test — instead of quarantining at home — to keep attending school. With no quarantine recommendation anymore, the testing option disappeared, too.

Masks continue to be recommended only in areas where community transmission is considered high, or if a person is considered at high risk of severe illness.

WHO: COVID-19 deaths fall overall by 9%, infections stable

The World Health Organization says in its latest weekly pandemic report that the number of coronavirus deaths fell by 9% in the last week while new cases remained relatively stable. The UN health agency said Wednesday there were more than 14,000 COVID-19 deaths last week and nearly 7 million new infections.

The Western Pacific reported a 30% jump in cases while Africa reported a 46% drop.

The WHO said that the omicron subvariant BA.5 remains dominant globally, accounting for nearly 70% of all virus sequences shared with the world’s biggest publicly available virus database.

What to know about BA.5, BA.4 variant symptoms

As Americans ramp up their summer travels without their masks, two COVID-19 subvariants are causing a surge in cases.

BA.5, which accounts for 65% of cases, and BA.4, which is 16% of cases, are omicron’s smarter cousins. The two subvariants are evading antibodies and even vaccine protections, as they are one of the most contagious versions of the virus yet.

“It knows how to trick our immune system,” said TEGNA’s medical expert Dr. Payal Kohli.

Since the subvariants derived from the original omicron variant, symptoms fall under the same umbrella. However, symptoms still vary depending on vaccination status, age, prior infection, medication and other factors, said Kohli.

Data collected from the Zoe app in the UK show most symptoms mimic the common cold, with sore throats and runny noses. Kohli said a significant change in symptoms for the subvariants are heightened amounts of sneezing, something not seen in earlier forms of the COVID-19 variant.

The subvariants responsible for the latest surge pose a different threat as it also has higher rates of reinfection.

Parents can schedule vaccine appointments for young children

The Indiana Department of Health (IDOH) announced that the public can now schedule COVID-19 vaccine appointments for children through age 5 by visiting www.ourshot.in.gov.

Appointments are available for individuals seeking the Moderna vaccine for children ages 6 months through 5 years and the Pfizer vaccine for children ages 6 months through 4 years on the state’s scheduling platform.

IDOH has updated its map at www.ourshot.in.gov to show sites that offer vaccines for the youngest age group.

Appointments are recommended due to vaccine and provider availability. Individuals also can call 211 for assistance or contact their child’s healthcare provider to determine if they are offering vaccines.

Visit the Indiana Department of Health at www.health.in.gov for important health and safety information.

Riley Children’s Health offering COVID-19 vaccines

Riley Children’s Health has the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for children 6 months to 5 years old.

Appointments are required and can be made by calling 211.

Riley Physicians at IU Health West:

  • Mondays and Thursdays: 5 p.m.-8:20 p.m.
  • Saturdays: 8am-11:20am
  • 1111 Ronald Reagan Pkwy, Avon

Riley Physicians at IU Health North:

  • Tuesdays and Wednesdays: 5 p.m.-8:20 p.m.
  • Saturdays: 8am-11:20am
  • 11700 N. Meridian Street, Carmel

Riley Physicians at East Washington

  • Tuesdays and Fridays: 5 p.m.-8:20 p.m.
  • Saturdays: 8am-11:20am
  • 9650 Washington St #245, Indianapolis

Riley Physicians at Methodist Medical Plaza South

  • Wednesdays and Thursdays: 5 p.m.-8:20 p.m.
  • Saturdays: 8am-11:20am
  • 8820 S Meridian St Suite 125, Indianapolis

Riley Physicians at Georgetown

  • Tuesdays and Fridays: 5 p.m.-8:20 p.m.
  • Saturdays: 8am-11:20am
  • 4880 Century Plaza Rd Suite 250, Indianapolis

MCPHD offering COVID vaccine for children 6 months to 4 years old

The Marion County Public Health Department is offering COVID-19 vaccinations to children ages 6 months to 4 years old at its district health offices and ACTION Health Center.

To see the schedule for each location, click here. Vaccinations are by appointment only. Call the specific location to make an appointment, or call MCPHD’s Immunization Program at 317-221-2122.

Leave a Comment