If you're awaiting your second shot of the coronavirus vaccine, chances are you've got some questions. What should you know before getting that second dose?
And Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said the city has seen a “quantum leap” in new coronavirus cases, adding that a failure to curtail those increases could cause some restrictions to be re-imposed.
Here are the latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic across Illinois today:
Where Chicago Plans to Use Johnson & Johnson COVID Vaccine Doses
Chicago is projected to receive roughly 40,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine this week, the city's top doctor said Thursday, detailing locations where those single-shot doses are going to be used.
"We've got big plans for that Johnson & Johnson," Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said during a Facebook Live broadcast Thursday morning. "We're using it to expand the homebound program, we're using it to bring to more manufacturing settings, we're using it to vaccinate everybody who works at O'Hare."
"We're using it to vaccinate some of the union workers that we're very focused on," she continued, seemingly in reference to the mass vaccination site for union workers that the city announced earlier this week, billing it as a "first-of-its-kind effort" in partnership with the Chicago Federation of Labor.
"We've got plans to be vaccinating restaurant and food service workers in dedicated events and we wanted to get it to providers," Arwady said. She later noted that the city has more than 600 providers enrolled to administer vaccinations, but can only give about a third of them vaccine doses each week.
1 in 3 of Chicago's COVID Vaccine Doses Going to Non-Residents
Chicago health officials say that one out of every three coronavirus vaccine doses sent to the city are being administered to non-city residents, and are calling on the state of Illinois to step up deliveries of doses to help accelerate vaccination efforts.
During a Facebook Live on Thursday, Dr. Allison Arwady, commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health, called on the state to push more vaccine doses to the northeast corner of the state, citing instances where other areas of the state are seeing surpluses of the vaccine.
“We’ve been in a lot of conversations with the state to please work on pushing additional vaccine up to the northeast, which is the most heavily populated area,” she said. “I’m really pleased there are parts of the state that there’s plenty of vaccine available, but the goal then should be to push additional doses up here because it’s not just Chicago where we see such high demand, but across Cook and Lake counties as well.”
Why You May Be More Likely to Get the Moderna Vaccine in Chicago
As three different COVID-19 vaccines become available across the country, Moderna remains the front runner for distribution in Chicago and across Illinois, according to Chicago’s top doctor.
Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said the Moderna vaccine is being used more because it’s less complicated to handle and store unlike the Pfizer vaccine.
“Pfizer remains a little bit complicated in terms of it's got this ultra-cold vaccination storage and you only have five days to use it from when you pull it out,” Arwady said during a Facebook Live Q&A on Thursday.
Cook County Vaccine: 22K Appointments Released Thursday
Cook County Health released 22,000 first-dose COVID vaccine appointments at 4 p.m. on Thursday for all Illinois residents eligible in Phases 1A, 1B and 1C. All Cook County appointments can be booked on the Cook County vaccine website or by calling the county's hotline at (833) 308-1988.
Coronavirus in Illinois: 3,526 New COVID Cases, 25 Deaths, 116K Vaccinations
Health officials in Illinois on Thursday reported more than 3,500 new coronavirus cases and 25 additional deaths, along with more than 116,000 vaccinations in the past 24 hours.
According to figures from the Illinois Department of Public Health, the 3,526 new confirmed and probable COVID cases reported in the last day brought the state’s total to 1,248,111 cases since the pandemic began last year.
The 25 new deaths lifted the state's death toll to 21,326 fatalities related to the virus, according to health officials.
Read more here.
COVID Vaccine Side Effects: Why Do Some Get Them and What Does it Mean?
Side effects are possible after receiving either one or two doses of any of the three coronavirus vaccines currently being administered in the U.S., but not everyone experiences them.
So what causes the side effects and what does it mean if you get them when others don't?
Kendall County COVID Vaccine Eligibility Expands to Anyone Who Lives or Works in County
The Kendall County Health Department on Thursday announced that anyone who lives or works in the county will now be eligible for the coronavirus vaccine.
"The Health Department is excited to announce that we are opening our clinic to anyone that lives or works in Kendall County," the health department wrote on Facebook. "We are no longer following a 'phased' approach."
Lake County Opens New Mass Vaccination Site in Waukegan Thursday
Lake County opened its new mass vaccination site Thursday in Waukegan, one of several new sites launching in Chicago suburbs this week.
The site is located at the community based testing center at 102 W. Water Street and all eligible Illinois residents can book appointments, regardless of where they live. Details here.
Can You Drink After Getting the COVID Vaccine? Illinois Doctor Weighs In
Can you drink alcohol after getting the coronavirus vaccine? It's a question some have been asking as eligibility in Illinois continues to expand and more people prepare for their first or second dose.
The answer, according to an Illinois doctor with Cook County Health, is yes, but there's a catch.
"It's a great question. The simple, short answer is yes," Dr. Mark Loafman, chair of family and community medicine for Cook County Health, told NBC Chicago. "There's no prohibition against drinking alcohol. It wasn't specifically studied and there's an assumption that some, you know, an average number of people in the study did use alcohol during the study, but it wasn't specifically measured."
"Excessive" alcohol consumption, however, can lead to a weakened immune system, Loafman said.
Read more here.
Getting Your Second Dose of the COVID Vaccine? Here's What You Should Know
If you're awaiting your second shot of the coronavirus vaccine, chances are you've got some questions.
What are the side effects and when are you likely going to experience them? How long do you have to wait until you are fully vaccinated?
Lightfoot Sounds Alarm Over ‘Quantum Leap' in New Daily COVID Cases in Chicago
Health officials in Chicago are continuing to sound the alarm amid a “quantum leap” in new coronavirus cases in the city, saying that a failure to curtail those gains could cause some restrictions to be re-imposed after they were loosened earlier this year.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Wednesday that the daily number of new cases in the city has more than doubled in recent weeks, saying that any further loosening of coronavirus restrictions will have to be paused as a result.
“We’re concerned, (because) we have over 400, almost 500 new cases on average as of today. That is a quantum leap from where we were even three weeks ago,” Lightfoot said. “That is concerning, and that is obviously dictating that we have to proceed with caution. We’re not going to see anything more significant on the reopening front until we see those numbers stabilize and start to come down.”
Read more here.
Aurora ‘Pop-up' Vaccination Site at Fox Valley Mall Launches Thursday
The city of Aurora is launching a “pop-up” coronavirus vaccination site at the former Carson Pirie Scott store inside of the Fox Valley Mall Thursday, with the first event at the new store a large-scale vaccination clinic targeting individuals in the Black, Latinx and Indian communities in the city.
According to a press release, a 1,000-shot clinic will be hosted at the site on Thursday. The Unity Vax Aurora program will conduct the first event in partnership with Black Vax Aurora, Latin Vax Aurora and Indian Vax Aurora, a series of outreach efforts designed to get the COVID vaccine into the arms of individuals from communities where “vaccine hesitancy” is still an issue, according to the release.
Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin will receive his first dose of the Moderna vaccine on Thursday, with U.S. Rep. Lauren Underwood, a former nurse, helping to administer the treatment.
Illinois Meets Vaccine Metric to Move to Bridge Phase, But State Won't Advance Yet: IDPH
Illinois has now met the vaccination metric required to move to its new Bridge Phase, a transition phase before fully reopening, but the state isn't advancing just yet, health officials said Wednesday.
While 70% of Illinois residents age 65 and older have now received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine, the state's health department said "not all of the metrics needed to advance to the Bridge Phase and on to Phase 5 of the Restore Illinois Plan have been met."
"The number of people being admitted to the hospital in Illinois due to COVID-19 continues to increase," IDPH said in a release Wednesday. "As long as new hospital admissions continue to increase, the state will not advance. The number of cases of COVID-19 has seen an increasing trend as well. Health officials continue to urge all residents to continue to mask up, socially distance, and avoid crowds to reduce transmission and bring the metrics back in line to transition to the Bridge Phase."
Read more here.
Lake County Fairgrounds Expands COVID Vaccine Eligibility to Phase 1B Plus
The Lake County Fairgrounds vaccination site expanded COVID-19 vaccine availability this week to those eligible in Phase 1B Plus, which includes additional underlying health conditions, the health department announced.
The Lake County Health Department opened vaccination appointments at the Fairgrounds to those eligible in Phase 1B Plus on Tuesday, after partners in the county moved into the expanded phase last week.
Anyone who lives or works in Lake County can register in the AllVax Portal located here. Appointments can also be made by calling (847) 377-8130.
State Launching New Mass Vaccination Sites in Multiple Suburbs for All Eligible Illinois Residents
Four suburban mass vaccination sites are expected to open to all eligible Illinois residents this week. New locations are set to open in Kane, Lake and Will counties with another site in Grundy County expanding to all eligible state residents regardless of where they live. Details here.
2 Mass Vaccination Sites to Open in Chicago Next Week, Including 1 Near Wrigley Field
Two new mass vaccination sites - one at Chicago State University and a second just outside Wrigley Field - are set to open in Chicago next week, officials announced Tuesday.
Beginning April 5, Chicago residents eligible under Phase 1C of the city's COVID vaccine rollout will be able to get a vaccine from Chicago State University or the American Airlines Conference Center at Gallagher Way next to Wrigley Field.
Appointments for the new sites are expected to be released "later this week" on the city's Zocdoc scheduling platform, with additional appointments expected to post each day.
Will County Expands COVID Vaccine Eligibility to Phase 1B Plus
Will County has now entered Phase 1B Plus of its COVID vaccine rollout, the county's health department announced Tuesday.
Health officials said that between Tuesday and April 12, when the state is expected to make all residents 16 and older eligible, vaccine appointments can by those who currently qualifies under state guidelines.
Note: For COVID-19, the herd-immunity threshold is estimated to be between 60 and 90 percent. Our analysis considers herd immunity reached at 75% of the population fully vaccinated based on estimates by Dr. Anthony Fauci.