Indiana coronavirus updates for February 19, 2021
The latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic, as of Friday February 19th.
INDIANAPOLIS – The latest Friday updates on the coronavirus pandemic, including the latest news on COVID-19 vaccinations and tests in Indiana. Registration for the vaccine is now available for select groups through the Indiana State Department of Health. This story will be updated later in the day with more news about the COVID-19 pandemic.
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6 million COVID-19 vaccine shipments delayed by winter storm
White House coronavirus adviser Andy Slavitt says attempts to vaccinate Americans against COVID-19 have been pushed back by winter storms that have spanned the country and closed transportation hubs and highways.
But Slavitt says it is possible to make a concerted effort to catch up.
Weather has resulted in a 3 day delay in vaccine shipments or around 6 million doses. Slavitt says the vaccine won’t spoil and is “safe and healthy” in camps.
About 1.4 million cans were shipped on Friday and the rest of the residue should be cleared up in a few days. The government also opened five new mass vaccination centers, one in Philadelphia and four more in the cities of Miami, Orlando, Tampa and Jacksonville, Florida.
FedEx is facing delivery delays due to snow at its global hub in Memphis. To keep up with demand, the shipping giant is using its second largest hub in Indianapolis and regional hubs in California and New Jersey to reroute vaccine deliveries to as many locations as possible.
The company said contingency plans are in place as they adapt to changing weather conditions across the country.
FedEx ships COVID-19 vaccines from manufacturers and distributors to dosing centers based on government allocation and distribution plans.
The Indiana State Department of Health reports 1,080 more cases and 44 additional deaths from COVID-19. The state has seen a total of 653,245 positive cases of the virus and 11,898 confirmed deaths.
Biden launches a $ 4 billion global vaccine expense plan
Joe Biden will announce that the U.S. will soon be allocating $ 4 billion to international efforts in support of the purchase and distribution of coronavirus vaccines to poor nations, White House officials said.
Biden will also encourage the group of seven partners to keep their pledges to COVAX, a World Health Organization initiative to improve access to vaccines, according to a senior administrative official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to preview Biden’s announcement.
The US $ 4 billion funding was approved by Congress in December and will be distributed through 2022.
The US is determined to work together through COVAX to ensure “equitable distribution of vaccines and funding worldwide,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters Thursday.
Latest US, world numbers
There were more than 27.89 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the US as of 3:30 a.m. ET on Friday, according to Johns Hopkins University. There were more than 493,000 deaths in the United States
Globally, there have been more than 110.32 million confirmed cases with more than 2.44 million deaths and 62.12 million recoveries.
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The actual number of people infected with the virus worldwide is believed to be much higher – perhaps ten times higher, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States – given the testing restrictions and the many mild cases not reported or undetected.
In most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can lead to more serious illnesses such as pneumonia or death.
Pfizer begins clinical vaccine studies in pregnant women
Pfizer-BioNTech is recruiting 4,000 pregnant women in the US and eight other countries who are 24 to 34 weeks after pregnancy to participate in clinical trials for its COVID-19 vaccine.
Some of the women get the real COVID-19 shots while others get a placebo. They will not know what species they received until after they are born. At that time, women who received the placebo will be offered the vaccine.
Researchers will look for negative side effects in women, including miscarriages.
There is some preliminary data on safety during pregnancy as some volunteers became pregnant in the first study and it appeared safe. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, pregnant women infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, are at increased risk of complications, including premature birth and the need to put on a ventilator .
The CDC has not issued clear guidelines on whether pregnant women should receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
The second wave of COVID-19 cases appears to be over in Indiana. What’s the next concern?
Fewer hoosiers are made sick, hospitalized and killed by COVID-19.
The Indiana Department of Health numbers are all going in the right direction, but there are concerns that new forms of the virus will spread and instead of turning a corner, the Indiana numbers will get worse.
In the race against the deadly virus, hospital workers are finally holding their breath.
The 29 daily deaths reported Thursday are roughly a quarter of what they were at the peak of the December pandemic.
The number of hospital stays, now less than a thousand, was three and a half times higher in November.
“It’s a huge weight that is taken off our shoulders,” said Dr. Warren Gavin.
The doctor said he felt overwhelmed by the number of COVID-19 patients he treated in Methodist and university hospitals. Their number has fallen from around 200 to around 30.
“It feels honest … I don’t mean to say normal, but we’re going back there,” Gavin explained. “It was the first time that I was confident that we can go back to normal.”
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“I think this is the beginning of the end. I don’t know if we’ve turned the corner yet,” said Thomas Duszynski, an epidemiologist at IUPUI’s Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health. “These numbers tell me we are doing the right things. Second, we can control the pandemic by doing the right things.”
Duszynski said the more than 1 million hoosiers who had at least one dose of the vaccine is a good start, but not enough to have a material impact on the spread of COVID-19.
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The large number of cases related to vacation parties and travel are over. Winter weather is a great incentive to stay home and socially aloof.
The concern is complacency and the arrival of new, contagious forms of the virus.
“Can we get enough people vaccinated?” he asked. “Can we keep this type of activity before these new varieties take root?”
Instead of letting go of their guard, Hoosiers are encouraged to roll up their sleeves, remain masked, and continue to keep their distance.