While You Were Sleeping: Coronavirus updates for April 9

Coronavirus

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

Here’s a look:

Younger Hoosiers. Although area hospitals are seeing fewer COVID-19 hospitalizations, health officials say the patients they do see are younger and a cause for concern.

President and CEO of Johnson Memorial Health, David Dunkle, said four of the hospital’s five COVID-19 patients were under the age of 50.

“Typically, it would be an anomaly to see someone the age of 40 here hospitalized,” said Dunkle. “I’ve never seen this many at one time. I mean we had someone in their 20s on a ventilator…that is not what has been the norm for our hospital at all.”

Notre Dame requirement. The University of Notre Dame says it will require all students to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 for this year’s fall semester.

University officials notified the campus community of the requirement in a letter Wednesday. It says it will accommodate documented medical or religious exemptions to vaccinations.

“Requiring students to be vaccinated for COVID-19 is a new and important addition to our health policies, one that we believe will enhance public health at Notre Dame and in our community, while also contributing to our ability to return to a more vibrant campus environment,” university President Rev. John Jenkins said.

Vaccine side effects. A recent study has found that more people report side effects after receiving a dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine than the Pfizer vaccine.

The study shines light on the many mild side effects of both vaccines — including headache, fever, chills and pain or swelling at the injection site.

Between Dec. 14 and Feb. 28, about 1,085,000 people reported symptoms from the Pfizer vaccine after the first dose. Around 1,465,000 reported symptoms from the first shot of the Moderna vaccine in the same period.

For the second dose, approximately 666,000 people reported side effects from the Pfizer vaccine, compared to 777,000 with the Moderna vaccine.

Comparing vaccine efficacy. Are some COVID-19 vaccines more effective than others?

It’s hard to tell since they weren’t directly compared in studies. But experts say the vaccines are alike on what matters most: preventing hospitalizations and deaths.

“Luckily, all these vaccines look like they’re protecting us from severe disease,” said Dr. Monica Gandhi of the University of California, San Francisco, citing study results for five vaccines used around the world and a sixth that’s still in review.

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