The latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic for Sunday, June 26, 2022.
INDIANAPOLIS – Here are Sunday’s latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic, including the latest on COVID-19 vaccinations and testing in Indiana.
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Pfizer says modified COVID-19 injections boost omicron protection
Pfizer says tweaking its COVID-19 vaccine to better target the omicron variant is safe and boosts protection. Saturday’s announcement comes just days before regulators debate whether to offer Americans updated booster shots this fall.
Current COVID-19 vaccines still provide strong protection against hospitalization and death. But protection against infection dropped markedly with the omicron variant, and now it’s even more transmissible as relatives spread.
Pfizer says either a targeted omicron booster or a combination shot that mixes the original vaccine with omicron protection dramatically increases protection.
Rival Moderna hopes to offer a similar combo shot.
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CDC map shows 4 southern Indiana counties at ‘high risk’ for COVID-19 spread
On Sunday, June 26, 2022, Crawford, Floyd, Harrison, and Washington counties — all in southern Indiana — were listed on the CDC data card as having a “high” community risk of spreading COVID-19, while 15 other counties (Bartholomew, Blackford, Clark, Decatur, Dubois, Henry, Fountain, Jackson, Jennings, Knox, Lawrence, Orange, Pike, Shelby and Warrick ) were rated as “medium” risk.
Over the past seven days, Indiana has reported 49 deaths from COVID-19 and 8,917 new cases.
Germany to charge most citizens for rapid COVID-19 tests
Germany will start charging for rapid COVID-19 tests which were previously free, although vulnerable groups will be exempt from the charge. Health Minister Karl Lauterbach said on Friday that from July 1, rapid tests widely available at centers across Germany will cost citizens about $3.16 each, with the rest subsidized by the government. .
Testing will remain free for people who can prove they belong to vulnerable groups, for visitors to nursing homes and hospitals, and for young children.
The planned end to free testing at the end of June has raised fears that Germany will see an undetected rise in coronavirus cases over the next few months as people unwittingly spread the virus.
Army Guard Troops Face Dismissal As Vaccination Deadline Approaches
Up to 40,000 Army National Guard soldiers across the country — or about 13% of the force — have yet to receive a mandatory COVID-19 vaccine, and as the deadline for the shots, at least 14,000 of them adamantly refused and could be forced off duty.
Guard soldiers have until next Thursday to get vaccinated. Data obtained by The Associated Press shows that between 20% and 30% of Guard soldiers in six states are unvaccinated, and more than 10% in 43 other states still need vaccines.
Nationwide, in all but one case, Guard soldiers are vaccinated at a higher rate than the general population of their state. Only in New Jersey is the percentage of vaccinated Guard soldiers ever so slightly lower than the overall state population, at the start of the month when the data was collected.
The three US territories – the Virgin Islands, Guam and Puerto Rico – and the District of Columbia all have more than 90% of their soldiers fully vaccinated. The highest percentage is in Hawaii, at almost 97%, while the lowest is Oklahoma, at just under 70%.
Guard leaders say states are doing everything they can to encourage soldiers to get vaccinated before the deadline.
Latest US and Global Numbers
There have been more than 86.96 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States as of 1 p.m. ET Sunday, according to Johns Hopkins University. There have been more than 1.015 million recorded deaths in the United States
Worldwide, there have been over 543.48 million confirmed cases of coronavirus with over 6.32 million deaths and over 11.64 billion doses of vaccine administered.
For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms. For some, especially older people and people with existing health conditions, it can lead to more serious illnesses like pneumonia or death.
COVID-19 vaccines have saved nearly 20 million lives worldwide, scientists say
Nearly 20 million lives were saved by COVID-19 vaccines in their first year, but even more deaths could have been prevented if international vaccine targets had been met, researchers reported Thursday.
Researchers used data from 185 countries to estimate that vaccines averted 4.2 million COVID-19 deaths in India, 1.9 million in the United States, 1 million in Brazil, 631,000 in France and 507 000 in the UK.
An additional 600,000 deaths would have been averted if the World Health Organization’s target of 40% vaccination coverage by the end of 2021 had been met, according to the study published Thursday in the journal Lancet Infectious Diseases.
The main finding – 19.8 million COVID-19 deaths were averted – is based on estimates of how many more deaths than usual occurred during the period. Using only reported COVID-19 deaths, the same model yielded 14.4 million vaccine-prevented deaths.
Appointment required for parents wishing to have their young children vaccinated
The Indiana Department of Health is asking Hoosier’s parents to get appointments for their children’s vaccinations. The application is aimed at parents of children aged 6 months to 5 years.
Parents can contact the vaccination site listed at www.ourshot.in.gov or call 211 for assistance.
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Hoosier children and teens below national average for COVID-19 vaccines
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Preventionthe percentage of vaccinated children ages 5 to 17 in Indiana is much lower than the rate across the country.
About 20% of Indiana children ages 5 to 11 are fully immunized, compared to about 30% nationally. For Hoosier children ages 12-17, about 43% are fully immunized, compared to about 60% nationally.
The White House offers 8 additional free COVID-19 tests to the public
The government website for people to request free home COVID-19 tests from the US government is now accepting a third round of orders.
The White House recently announced that American households can request that eight additional free home tests be shipped by the US Postal Service.
President Joe Biden pledged in January to make 1 billion tests available to the public for free, including 500 million through covidtests.gov. But only 350 million of the amount available for online ordering has been shipped so far to addresses across the continental United States, its territories and overseas military bases, the White House said.
People who are having trouble logging in or need help placing an order can call 1-800-232-0233 for assistance.
Round three brings the total number of free tests available to every US household to 16 since the program began earlier this year. Households were eligible to receive four tests during each of the previous two rounds of ordering through the website.
2nd COVID-19 reminder available for Hoosiers 50+
The Indiana Department of Health has announced that Hoosiers age 50 and older, as well as those age 12 and older with compromised immune systems, are now eligible to receive a second COVID-19 mRNA booster. at least four months after their first booster dose.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended the supplemental vaccine as an option, but did not urge eligible people to rush in and receive it immediately.
IDOH advises vaccine providers to begin administering the second boosters of Moderna and Pfizer vaccines to eligible people.
The CDC also says adults who received a primary vaccine and a booster dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at least four months ago can now receive a second booster dose of either mRNA vaccine. .
You can find a vaccination point at ourshot.in.gov or by calling Indiana 211 (866-211-9966). Appointments are recommended, but many sites accept walk-ins.