While You Were Sleeping: Coronavirus updates for May 12


INDIANAPOLIS — There were several developments in the coronavirus pandemic you may have missed overnight.

Here’s a look:

CDC meeting on Pfizer. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advisory committee will meet Wednesday to decide whether to recommend Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine for adolescents ages 12-15.

Meanwhile, some parents, schools and vaccine clinics are already rushing to begin inoculating younger adolescents after the Food and Drug Administration endorsed Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for children as young as 12, a decision seen as a breakthrough in allowing classroom instruction to resume safely around the country.

A handful of cities started offering shots to children ages 12 to 15 less than a day after the FDA gave the vaccine emergency use authorization for that age group. Most communities were waiting for a federal advisory committee that meets Wednesday to sign off on the move, while anxious families called clinics and pharmacies to ask about the soonest appointments.

Vaccine requirements at universities? Colleges and universities can require students to return to class this Fall with proof they have received the COVID-19 vaccine. But public schools will be prohibited from doing the same.

Experts say under Indiana law, state or local units are prohibited from issuing or requiring immunization passports. The Indiana State Department of Health sets the policies regarding which vaccines are required, so public schools cannot require proof.

“The way that I read that law, it would stop schools if they wanted to require it,” Ross Silverman, Professor of Health Policy and Management at IU Fairbanks School of Public Health, said. “The state health department couldn’t make it a requirement because they’re prohibited.”

But colleges, like Indiana University’s Medical Response Team, are considering a vaccine requirement.

Unemployment requirement reinstated. Governor Holcomb signed an executive order Tuesday which requires Indiana residents requesting unemployment benefits to be actively seeking full-time work.

Beginning June 1, the Indiana Department of Workforce Development (DWD) will again require a weekly work search report from Hoosiers applying for unemployment benefits.

Work search activities include applying for a job, attending a job fair, participating in a WorkOne orientation, or completing an online workshop.

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, the federal government previously authorized states to waive work search requirements during the height of the pandemic.

Convincing the unvaccinated. Fewer Americans are reluctant to get a COVID-19 vaccine than just a few months ago, but questions about side effects and how the shots were tested still hold some back, according to a new poll that highlights the challenges at a pivotal moment in the U.S. vaccination campaign.

Just 11% of people who remain unvaccinated say they definitely will get the shot, while 34% say they definitely won’t, according to the poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

That leaves a large swath of Americans in the middle who might still roll up their sleeves — including 27% who say they probably will and 27% who say they probably won’t — if someone credible addressed their concerns. That’s where National Institutes of Health immunologist Kizzmekia Corbett comes in.

Indians return to Victory Field. The Indy Indians are back on the field after having their last season cancelled due to COVID-19. While the players and fans are happy to be back, the return comes with changes at Victory Field.

Fans will be capped at 25%, which is just more than 3,400 fans in a perfect scenario. The entire experience is now ticketless, and concessions are also getting a makeover. Fans will not be able to use cash to buy food, and people can expect to see an increase in prepackaged items.

Typically the outfield packed lawn area can have thousands of fans. This year there are 106 of spray painted squares in the grass. Each is a different seating space for groups to come enjoy the game. The squares are sold in groups, and even if that group does not meet capacity for the square, those seats can not be filled by other people.

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