In the past few weeks, almost 60% of shots given for COVID wre boosters. Times of Northwest Indiana file photo
In the past few weeks, almost 60% of shots given for COVID wre boosters. Times of Northwest Indiana file photo
The rate at which Hoosiers are getting vaccine booster shots has outweighed the rate of newly recorded vaccinated residents, data from state health officials recently has revealed.

As booster shots became available in September for senior citizens and at-risk populations, the Indiana Department of Health began recording booster shot data on its site, which tracks coronavirus infection rates, deaths and vaccinations.

In the past few weeks, almost 60% of shots given were booster shots, The Associated Press reported.

As of Friday, a total of 3,329,239 people in Indiana have been fully vaccinated, making up a total of 56.7% of Indiana's total population, ages 12 and older. Indiana currently has the 14th-lowest standing for the amount of fully vaccinated individuals in a population out of all the states.

U.S. President Joe Biden fielded questions from reporters while getting a booster shot of the COVID-19 vaccine.

The total amount of Hoosiers to receive the booster shots currently totals to 220,275, however numbers are growing.

For example, in a 24-hour period, 9,968 booster doses were administered in Indiana, compared to 3,884 people who received their second dose, thus becoming fully vaccinated, according to data updated Friday. The number of those who received a one-dose vaccine were 388 within that period.

More locally, data on booster shots for specific counties is not yet available on the state website.

State data showed county vaccination rates for those ages 12 and older in the Region were 55.5% in Lake County; 61.2% in Porter County; 55.5% in LaPorte County; 45.5% in Jasper County; and 40.1% in Newton County.

Currently, the booster shot is available to fully vaccinated individuals who are either 65 or older, or are 18 or older and have underlying medical conditions or live or work in high-risk settings, such as health care, public safety or grocery store employees.

Currently, the Pfizer booster shot only can be given to someone who received the Pfizer vaccine. More data on the effectiveness of the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson booster shots are expected soon, at which time their release will be announced.

Officials said that after someone is vaccinated against coronavirus, protection against the virus may decrease over time and be less effective against the Delta variant.

Infection and death data

Another 29 people in the Region were reported dead from COVID-19 over the past seven days, according to updated statistics Friday from the Indiana Department of Health.

In the past week, Lake County saw 14 additional deaths; Porter County recorded six more deaths; LaPorte County had three more deaths; and six more people died from the illness in Jasper County, since data reported on Oct. 8.

A total of 15,713 Hoosiers have died from the respiratory disease since the start of the pandemic, including 1,151 in Lake County; 362 in Porter County; 249 in LaPorte County; 69 in Jasper County; and 48 in Newton County, according to ISDH data updated Friday afternoon.

President Joe Biden is heading to Chicago on Thursday, continuing his campaign stressing the need for vaccines to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

Statewide, 2,303 new positive cases were reported Friday, compared to the 3,595 recorded a week ago. This brings the state's total number of positive tests to 996,341.

The statewide seven-day positivity rate for all tests decreased from 17.9% to 17.4% in the last week. All data was provisional and subject to change as more data is reported to the state.

Across the state line, Calumet City reported 4,634 cases, and Lansing reported 4,049 cases on Friday, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Seven-day positivity rates in Northwest Indiana were 8.4% in Lake County; 9.5% in Porter County; 6.5% in LaPorte County; 10.2% in Jasper County; and 7% in Newton County.

Currently Lake, Porter and LaPorte counties are in the moderate yellow designation, on the state's COVID-19 advisory map, which is updated every Wednesday.

Jasper County is in the orange category on the state's COVID-19 advisory map, which means the community's spread is approaching high levels of COVID-19 as measured by weekly cases per 100,000 residents and the testing positivity rate.

In the past week, Newton County moved from the highest red designation, which indicates a very high positivity and community spread, to the moderate yellow designation.

No counties are in the best possible blue rating, with the majority of the counties being in the orange zone.

Vaccination appointments can be scheduled at any of 55 hospitals and 91 local health departments across the state, with each site setting its own hours and days of service. All 92 Indiana counties have at least one vaccination site.

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