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2021: How Hoosier lives were impacted by COVID-19

Posted at 9:28 AM, Dec 31, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-31 09:28:43-05

INDIANAPOLIS — So much of our lives were impacted in 2021 by the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

The year started with a sense of hope as efforts to vaccinate Hoosiers continued and sped up.

The Indiana Department of Health started to gradually open up the vaccines to different age groups.

At the beginning of March, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway traded IndyCar drivers for medical professionals as it opened up the gates for a mass vaccinations clinic.

People lined up in their cars at the mass vaccination clinic at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Friday, March 5, 2021.

The drive-thru clinic even allowed people getting their shots to drive through pit-lane.

In April, the COVID-19 vaccine was made available to any adult who wanted one. It was a moment many were waiting for.

Signs of normalcy returned to central Indiana in May. Fans were back at IMS for the Indianapolis 500 in May.

Despite some limitations, the race was the world's largest crowd since the start of the pandemic.

Numbers were starting to look good in the state as Hoosiers celebrated the Fourth of July, but the arrival of the delta variant threw the state's battle into chaos. Nearly all COVID-19 cases in the state by the end of July were the result of the variant.

We saw new tools in the battle against the pandemic in November when a version of the Pfizer vaccines was approved for children aged 5-11.

"These are happy tears, I'm the first kid in this county to get vaccinated," Gannom, an eight-year-old from Noblesville, said.

"We're just kind of excited and I think it's kind of our best track to try to work to the end of this whole thing," Avinash Mantravadi, a parent, said.

Just weeks later, on Nov. 19, all adults became eligible for a booster shot.

Six months after getting the second shot of Pfizer's or Moderna's vaccine or two months after getting the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, all adults were eligible for the booster.

Around Thanksgiving, a new COVID-19 variant popped up around the world.

In just weeks, the omicron variant was spreading rapidly around the globe.

On Dec. 19, the first case of the omicron variant was reported in Indiana. The Indiana Department of Health said it was detected in a specimen collected from an unvaccinated resident.

As we approach 2022, the omicron variant is now the main concern for health officials. They continue to say the best way to bring this pandemic to an end is to get vaccinated and get your booster shot when you're eligible.