WATCH: Holcomb directs hospitals to postpone non-urgent procedures

Wabash Valley COVID-19 updates

INDIANAPOLIS (WTWO/WAWV) – Gov. Eric Holcomb announced all non-urgent in-patient elective procedures will be postponed for three weeks at all Indiana hospitals beginning next week.

During Wednesday’s statewide update, Gov. Holcomb also announced that 55,575 doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is expected at hospitals statewide next week. That’s if the drug is approved by an FDA subcommittee Thursday.

The first doses will go to major hospitals in Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, Evansville, Jeffersonville and Munster.

These vaccines that we will be receiving first are an mRNA vaccines and they take a different approach. they teach our cells to make a harmless protein called the spike protein, that is found on the surface of the virus that causes covid-19. this protein then triggers an immune response inside our bodies, that immune response produces antibodies to protect us from getting infected if the real virus enters our bodies.”

Chief Medical Officer, Lindsay Weaver

Chief Medical Officer, Linsday Weaver assures that the “live” COVID-19 virus is not used in the vaccine. She says you cannot catch the virus from the vaccine.

Fifty other hospitals around the state are expected to receive additional doses by the end of next week. State officials want to see healthcare workers among the first to receive a vaccine, but Holcomb admits the number of doses next week is not nearly enough.

Chief Medical Officer, Linsday Weaver, says there are around 400,000 healthcare workers in the state.

Officials say their goal is for everyone to be vaccinated by this summer.

We anticipate receiving additional vaccines every week, but we do not know what those amounts will be. We are excited to share that CVS and Walgreens are partnering with us to provide vaccine to our long-term care residents and staff who do not receive it at our hospital sites, through this partnership, we are assuring our most vulnerable Hoosiers and those who care for them are first in line for this vaccination.”

Chief Medical Officer, Lindsay Weaver

It was also announced Wednesday that social gatherings are limited to the county metrics map. Counties in the red are limited to 25 people, orange to 50, yellow to 100 and blue to 200.

Dr. Kristina box said today that realistically it will be 6 months until people can start gathering safely again.

Kevin Brinegar, president and CEO of the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, and Brian Burton, president and CEO of the Indiana Manufacturers Association will also take part in the briefing.

According to data compiled on the Covid Tracking Project website, Indiana had a daily average of 1,025 COVID-19 cases per 1 million people from Nov. 30 to Dec. 6 making it the highest per-capita infection rate in the nation during the week after Thanksgiving. The numbers followed weeks of warnings from state and federal health officials about a post-Thanksgiving surge.

The state surpassed 6,000 COVID-19 deaths Tuesday, with new deaths being reported daily throughout the Wabash Valley.

Watch the full press conference

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