This Indiana State Department of Health infographic illustrates the number of vaccinated vs. unvaccinated Hoosiers admitted to hospitals for the week ended Sept. 5, 2021. This Indiana State Department of Health infographic illustrates the number of vaccinated vs. unvaccinated Hoosiers admitted to hospitals for the week ended Sept. 5. 
Indiana State Department of Health graphic
This Indiana State Department of Health infographic illustrates the number of vaccinated vs. unvaccinated Hoosiers admitted to hospitals for the week ended Sept. 5, 2021. This Indiana State Department of Health infographic illustrates the number of vaccinated vs. unvaccinated Hoosiers admitted to hospitals for the week ended Sept. 5. Indiana State Department of Health graphic
INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana’s first-time vaccine uptake was similar to a week ago, but still running lower than recent averages and near all-time lows for a weekly total.

COVID-19 activity across the state has started to level off, but still remains very high in comparison to earlier this summer as the highly infectious delta variant of the virus continues to circulate.

Statewide, 35,124 Hoosiers came in for a first dose of a COVID-19 this past week, up slightly from about 32,600 last week — a week that was shortened by one day due to the Labor Day holiday.

The past two weeks, however, are down from the six weeks prior, when weekly vaccine totals were running between about 43,000 and 47,000 shots administered per week.

Even as case, hospitalization and death numbers shot up around the state, week-to-week vaccine uptake remained relatively flat, despite frequent reminders from health officials that the vast majority of new cases were occurring among unvaccinated Hoosiers.

Locally, the picture looks similar to the state, with week-over-week numbers substantially similar. This past week, 554 residents in the four-county area received first doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, nearly identical to 550 people the week prior.

Noble County led with 197 first-timers served, followed by DeKalb County with 163, Steuben County with 114 and LaGrange County with 80. DeKalb and Noble were down slightly, while LaGrange and Steuben were up slightly compared to the prior week.

Indiana as a whole has seen a leveling in new COVID-19 activity recently, perhaps reaching the peak of the delta-driven surge that’s been ongoing since July.

Average daily case counts still remain high at about 3,800 per day over the last seven days, although that’s down slightly from just over 4,000 per day in recent weeks.

Hospitalizations have come down a little too, to a total census of 2,507 patients in care for COVID-19. That’s down a bit off the recent high of 2,687 patients as of Sept. 13.

One metric that hasn’t turned yet is deaths, which have risen to a daily average of 40 per day. Deaths are a lagging indicator, usually following hospitalization figures by a few days or weeks, so it may be some time yet before those numbers start to plateau and drop, if the state has indeed hit a new peak.

As has been the case since the start of the delta variant surge, the majority of cases and severe cases continue to be suffered by the unvaccinated half of Indiana’s population.

Breakthrough cases are becoming more common — about 22% of new cases over the past seven days were breakthroughs — but hospitalizations and deaths still remain heavily weighted toward the unvaccinated.

Although vaccines were never promised to completely stop the COVID-19 virus, they were designed to reduce incidence of severe illness leading to hospitalization and death and remain highly effective at doing so.

About 56% of Indiana’s eligible population age 12 and older is fully vaccinated against the virus.

Rates remain significantly lower and the gap continues widening in the four-county area.

Steuben County is closest at 46.5%, followed by DeKalb County at 42.8%, Noble County at 41.4% and LaGrange County at a state-lowest 25.2%.

Within the next few weeks, Indiana as a whole will continue to pull away from northeast Indiana, reaching a point where even Steuben County falls a full 10 percentage points behind the rest of the state.

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