Indiana developing virus vaccine eligibility criteria

INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana health officials are developing the criteria they will use to decide who is entitled to receive a coronavirus vaccine when one becomes available.

Health Commissioner Dr. Kristina Box expects the supply of doses will be extremely limited once the federal government approves a vaccine for widespread human use — possibly just 10 million or 15 million doses for the 330 million people living in the United States, she said last week.

If the vaccine is distributed to each state based on its share of the U.S. population, Indiana might receive only 300,000 doses initially for its 6.7 million residents, The (Northwest Indiana) Times reported.

Box said the State Department of Health is preparing to identify which Hoosiers should get vaccine priority and who can continue following COVID-19 prevention practices — such as face mask wearing, social distancing and regular hand washing — until vaccine doses are more widely available.

Residents should be confident when a vaccine comes out that it meets all applicable federal and state health and safety standards for immunizations, Box said.

The drug companies and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration are following the “highest standards for ethics, and highest standards for scientific principles, in developing these vaccines,” she said.

Police say argument led to fatal shooting at Indiana mall

MISHAWAKA, Ind. — A deadly shooting inside a northern Indiana shopping mall happened after an argument between two men, police said.

The shooting that killed a 23-year-old man happened Saturday afternoon outside a jewelry store of University Park Mall in Mishawaka and sent frightened shoppers running for safety.

The slain man, identified as Delaney Crosby, was shot at least once and died at the scene, said Dave Wells, assistant commander of the St. Joseph County metro homicide unit. No other injuries were reported from the shooting, which led to the evacuation of the mall in the city just east of South Bend.

Police were searching for the man who shot Crosby, but they considered the shooting an isolated incident.

“This was an act of violence that had no regard for families pushing stroller, kids at the mall on a Saturday afternoon,” Wells said. “We are lucky that there isn’t more tragic news involved with this.”

Indiana getting $27.5M from feds for highway improvements

INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana will receive a total of $27.5 million in grants from the U.S. Department of Transportation for highway improvement projects in central Indiana.

A $22.5 million grant will be used to make improvements to Interstate 70 in Hancock County east of Indianapolis, Indiana’s congressional delegation announced last week. They include adding a third lane in each direction and repairs to pavement.

In the western Indianapolis suburb of Avon, a $5 million grant will be used to upgrade U.S. 36 with an additional travel lane in each direction, install infrastructure for non-motorized travel and make other changes.

The congressional delegation also requested funding for improvements to U.S. 31 in Franklin, but that project wasn’t approved.

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