The latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic from Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021.
INDIANAPOLIS — Here are Saturday’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 12 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.
FDA says Pfizer COVID vaccine looks effective for young kids
Federal scientists say kid-size doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine appear highly effective at preventing symptomatic infections among elementary school children. The Food and Drug Administration posted its review late Friday ahead of a public meeting to consider opening vaccinations to kids 5 to 11.
FDA scientists concluded that in almost every scenario the vaccine’s overall benefit for children would outweigh any serious potential side effects.
The FDA will ask an outside panel of experts to review its analysis and vote on whether to recommend the shots next week. If regulators authorize the low-dose shots, vaccinations could begin early next month.
Latest US, world numbers
There have been more than 45.4 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States as of 5:30 a.m. Saturday according to Johns Hopkins University. There have been more than 735,370 deaths recorded in the U.S.
Worldwide, there have been more than 243 million confirmed coronavirus cases with more than 4.93 million deaths. More than 6.77 billion vaccine doses have been 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.
Indiana to begin offering Moderna, J&J COVID-19 booster shots
The Indiana State Department of Health will begin offering booster doses of Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccine to eligible Hoosiers.
The booster shots are available to following people:
- Individuals who received a Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at least six months ago who fall into the following groups:
- Anyone 18 or older who got the single dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine two or more months ago.
Booster doses of the Pfizer vaccine have been available since late September.
People eligible for the booster shots are able to choose what brand of the vaccine they want to receive.
“The approval of the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson boosters will help provide additional protection to many Hoosiers, especially our most vulnerable residents in long-term care facilities and others who are most at risk,” said State Health Commissioner Dr. Kris Box. “The COVID-19 vaccines continue to provide strong protection against severe illness and death. Whether Hoosiers are getting their first dose or a booster shot, they will find vaccines widely available across the state.”
Those eligible for the booster shots can schedule it by clicking here or calling 211 for assistance.
Pfizer says COVID-19 vaccine more than 90% effective in kids
Kid-size doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine appear safe and nearly 91% effective at preventing symptomatic infections in 5- to 11-year-olds, according to study details released Friday as the U.S. considers opening vaccinations to that age group.
The shots could begin early next month — with the first children in line fully protected by Christmas — if regulators give the go-ahead.
Details of Pfizer’s study posted online Friday. Advisers to the Food and Drug Administration will publicly debate the evidence next week.
The FDA is expected to post its independent review of the company’s safety and effectiveness data later Friday. If the FDA ultimately authorizes the shots, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will make the final decision on who should receive them in early November.
More than 25,000 pediatricians and primary care providers already have signed up to get the shots into little arms.