INDIANAPOLIS — After six weeks of nearly identical week-to-week increases in first time vaccine recipients, Indiana saw a drop in new COVID-19 vaccines distributed last week.
The Labor Day holiday likely played some part in the decline, although weekly vaccine totals dipped about 27% off the prior week, suggesting the drop was brought on by more than just holiday closures of shot sites.
This past week, Indiana had 32,594 more people show up to receive their first dose of a vaccine, whether a two-shot Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
That’s down from 44,449 Hoosiers the previous week and breaks a six-week streak or mostly stable new recipients. Prior to this week, between 43,000-47,000 Hoosiers per week were coming in for shots during that six-week stretch.
Numbers were likely to drop a little due to Labor Day falling on Monday but the overall drop was larger than might be expected if shot clinics were closed for a one-day holiday.
Locally, 550 residents in the four-county area got shots during the week, which is also down compared to 654 people the week before.
All four counties were down off the previous week, with Noble County giving 212 first-timers a shot, followed by 179 in DeKalb County, 107 in Steuben County and 52 in LaGrange County.
Statewide, 55.3% of eligible Hoosiers age 12 and older are now fully vaccinated, with about 46.5% of the total population — children younger than 12 can’t be vaccinated yet as no shot has been approved for use yet — are immunized against COVID-19.
Vaccine rates in the local area continue to lag the statewide average and the gap between the region and state overall continues to widen.
Steuben County remains the highest vaccinated locally at 46.2%, followed by DeKalb County at 42.2%, Noble County at 40.8% and LaGrange County last in Indiana at 25.1%.
Indiana continues to average about 3,766 news cases of COVID-19 per day over the last week, while average daily deaths have risen to about 30 per day.
Total hospitalized patients being treated for COVID-19 statewide has risen to 2,617 as that metric continues to climb toward the state’s all time peak of more than 3,400 set at the end of November 2020.
The vast majority of people still being impacted by COVID-19, especially the people most seriously impacted requiring hospitalization or dying, remain among the state’s unvaccinated population.
Breakthrough cases continue to occur as the delta variant of COVID-19 continues to push even vaccinated Hoosiers hard, but while the split between vaccinated and unvaccinated now sits at about 1-to-1, new COVID-19 cases swing about 5-in-6 coming among unvaccinated Hoosiers.
Rates of hospitalization and death are even more heavily lopsided, with more than 9-in-10 of those occuring among the state’s unvaccinated.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention noted this week that unvaccinated Hoosiers are about 11 times more likely to die from COVID-19 than people who do get immunized.
That’s despite the fact that vaccinated people generally skew older, a group that is at a higher baseline risk of serious symptoms of the virus compared to younger people.