While You Were Sleeping: Coronavirus updates for March 22

Coronavirus

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

Here’s a look:

Vaccines for Hoosiers 40 and up. The state will further expand COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to Hoosiers 40 and over starting today.

The Indiana State Department of Health said the move would make the vaccine available to more than 400,000 more Hoosiers.

Vaccine appointments for Hoosiers 40 to 44 will be available starting today and will extend over the next several weeks to align with expected vaccine deliveries to the state.

AstraZeneca trial. Advanced trial data from a U.S. study on the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine shows it is 79% effective, the company announced Monday in long-awaited research that may answer some questions about the shot’s effectiveness in older populations.

AstraZeneca said its experts also identified no safety concerns related to the vaccine, including a rare blood clot that was identified in Europe. Experts found no increased risk of clots among the more than 20,000 people who got at least one dose of the AstraZeneca shot.

Rapid rollout struggles. Despite the clamor to speed up the U.S. vaccination drive against COVID-19 and get the country back to normal, the first three months of the rollout suggest faster is not necessarily better.

A surprising new analysis found that states such as South Carolina, Florida and Missouri that raced ahead of others to offer the vaccine to ever-larger groups of people have vaccinated smaller shares of their population than those that moved more slowly and methodically, such as Hawaii and Connecticut.

The explanation, as experts see it, is that the rapid expansion of eligibility caused a surge in demand too big for some states to handle and led to serious disarray. Vaccine supplies proved insufficient or unpredictable, websites crashed and phone lines became jammed, spreading confusion, frustration and resignation among many people.

Texas Roadhouse CEO. Kent Taylor, the CEO of the popular restaurant chain Texas Roadhouse, died Thursday by suicide after experiencing “unbearable” COVID-19 symptoms, his family told multiple news outlets.

Texas Roadhouse confirmed the death in a Facebook post, writing, “We will miss you, Kent. Because of you and your dream of Texas Roadhouse, we get to say we [love] our jobs every day.”

Taylor’s family said in a statement to The Hill and CNN that the business executive “took his own life” after “a battle with post-Covid related symptoms, including severe tinnitus,” which is a ringing in the ears.

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