Indiana COVID-19 updates for Saturday, June 18, 2022

The latest updates in the coronavirus pandemic for Saturday, June 18, 2022.

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 5 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.

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CDC advisers recommend COVID-19 shots for children under 5

US health advisers have recommended COVID-19 vaccines for infants, toddlers and preschoolers — the last group without the shots. The panel to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention decidedly Saturday that coronavirus vaccines should be opened to children as young 6 months.

The final signoff was expected later in the day from CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky.

The Biden administration has been gearing up for the start of the shots early next week.

Millions of doses have been ordered for distribution to doctors, hospitals and community health clinics around the country.

CDC map shows Dubois at ‘high risk,’ 20 other Indiana counties at ‘medium’ risk

On Saturday, June 18, 2022, Dubois County was listed on the CDC data map as having “high” community risk of spreading COVID-19, while 21 other counties (Benton, Blackford, Carroll, Clark, Clinton, Crawford, Delaware, Elkhart , Floyd, Fountain, Harrison, Kosciusko, Lawrence, Orange, Randolph, Scott, Shelby, Tippecanoe, Washington and White) were listed as “medium” risks.

Latest US, world numbers

There have been more than 86.21 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States as of 9 am ET Saturday, according to Johns Hopkins University. There have been more than 1,013 million deaths recorded in the US

Worldwide, there have been more than 538.54 million confirmed coronavirus cases with more than 6.317 million deaths and more than 11.6 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.

Thailand drops registration for visitors, outdoor mask rule

Thailand is lifting a pre-arrival registration requirement for foreign visitors that was seen as onerous and a drag on the recovery for a tourism industry battered by the coronavirus pandemic.

An outdoor mask mandate will also be dropped as of July 1 except in crowded venues. The mask mandate was not controversial in Thailand and generally obeyed. Thailand began gradually easing entry requirements late last year. But the online registration process was seen as discouraging tourists.

Visitors still have to show they’ve been vaccinated or have a recent negative test for the virus.

Germany’s health minister urges voluntary use of face masks

Germany’s health minister has urged residents to wear face masks indoors to protect themselves and others from the coronavirus. German Health Minister Karl Lauterbach, an epidemiologist by training, said Germany was experiencing an expected increase in cases that amounted to a “summer wave.” He said on Friday that “voluntarily wearing masks needs to be a normality indoors” but acknowledged that current data doesn’t justify a legal requirement.

An indoor mask mandate largely lapsed across Germany this spring, with the requirement remaining for places such as hospitals and care homes.

The country has recently reported between 50 and 130 coronavirus-related deaths a day.

FDA authorizes 1st COVID-19 shots for infants, preschoolers

US regulators have authorized the first COVID-19 shots for infants and preschoolers. That paves the way for vaccinations for children under 5 to begin next week.

The Food and Drug Administration’s emergency use authorization Friday panel follows a recommendation by its emergency use advisory panel.

The kid-sized shots are made by Moderna and Pfizer.

The FDA’s action allows the companies to begin shipping millions of preordered doses across the country. A final signoff from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expected this weekend.

The nation’s vaccination campaign began with adults in late 2020, about a year into the coronavirus pandemic.

White House additional offering 8 free COVID-19 tests to public

The government website for people to request free COVID-19 at-home tests from the US government is now accepting a third round of orders.

The White House recently announced that US households can request an additional eight free at-home tests to be shipped by the US Postal Service.

President Joe Biden committed in January to making 1 billion tests available to the public free of charge, including 500 million available through But just 350 million of the amount available for ordering online has been shipped to date to addresses across the continental US, its territories and overseas military bases, the White House said.

People who have difficulty getting online or need help placing an order can call 1-800-232-0233 for assistance.

The third round brings to 16 the total number of free tests available to each US household since the program started earlier this year. Households were eligible to receive four tests during each of two earlier rounds of ordering through the website.

2nd COVID-19 booster shot available to Hoosiers 50 and up

The Indiana Department of Health announced that Hoosiers age 50 and older, as well as those 12 and older with weakened immune systems, are now eligible to receive a second mRNA COVID-19 booster shot at least four months after their first booster dose.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended the extra shot as an option but stopped short of urging that those eligible rush out and get it right away.

The IDOH is advising vaccine providers to begin administering second boosters of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines to people who qualify.

The CDC also says that adults who received a primary vaccine and booster dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at least four months ago may now receive a second booster dose of either mRNA vaccine.

You can find a vaccine location at or by calling Indiana 211 (866-211-9966). Appointments are recommended, but many sites do accept walk-ins.

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