The Journal Gazette
Thursday, January 21, 2021 12:40 pm

Study: Many more Hoosiers get COVID-19 than shown in statistics

Result 'scary,' shows need for vaccinations, experts say

Rosa Salter Rodriguez | The Journal Gazette

One in 43 Hoosiers who contract COVID-19 and are older than 65 but not living in a nursing home will die, an expert affiliated with a statewide study on the prevalence of the novel coronavirus said during a webinar today.

"That is very scary," said Paul Halverson, founding dean of the Indiana University Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health in Indianapolis.

The webinar, attended by 41 people, was aimed at Fort Wayne-area educators and students, plus representatives of health-care and nonprofit organizations and the business community.

"Contributions of the Indiana Prevalence Study to the Worldwide Fight against COVID-19" provided an update on the study, which tracked a large random sample of Hoosiers beginning early in the pandemic. The study is completed and not enrolling new participants.

The experts said the study shows that many more people have likely contracted the virus than shown in the state's tracking statistics.

And, the research points out why it is important for Hoosiers to get vaccinated as soon as they are eligible because Indiana is still far from achieving herd immunity.

"If we have any hope of getting back to a normal life, it's the rapid uptake of the vaccine," said Dr. Nir Menachemi, a study collaborator.


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