COVID booster shot eligibility is likely expanding, but when can you get the extra shot?
Plus, a suburban mayor calls for the removal of mask mandates.
Here's what you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic across Illinois today:
CDC Advisory Group Endorses Pfizer and Moderna Boosters for All Adults
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An advisory panel to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention voted on Friday to recommend Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna’s Covid-19 booster shots to all adults, a move that simplifies who is eligible for an additional dose.
Friday’s unanimous vote by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices strips away the complicated and confusing criteria that had surrounded boosters, with eligibility limited to certain groups and, initially, certain vaccines.
The advisory committee's recommendations make all adults eligible for a booster shot six months after vaccination with a two-dose mRNA vaccine (from Pfizer or Moderna) or two months after vaccination with the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
IDPH Recommends All Residents 18 and Older Get COVID Booster Shots
Illinois' health department issued new guidance Friday recommending anyone 18 years or older get a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot, if they are eligible.
The Illinois Department of Public Health said the announcement was made following a ruling from the Food and Drug Administration, which authorized booster shots of the Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines for all U.S. adults.
IDPH said it now recommends residents 18 and older get a Moderna or Pfizer booster shot six months after receiving their second shot, or two months after receiving the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
“For continued, ongoing protection, we are urging everyone who is eligible to get a booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine to get one,” IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said in a statement. “Scientific and medical experts have reviewed the data and found booster doses are beneficial. While we need more people who are completely unvaccinated to get their first doses, we cannot risk losing some of the protection the vaccines have already provided due to waning immunity.”
Read more here.
COVID Booster Shot Eligibility in Illinois: What to Know After Latest FDA Ruling
The Food and Drug Administration authorized booster shots of the Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines for all U.S. adults Friday, but can you now get one?
Boosters were previously recommended for people who initially received their second Pfizer or Moderna shots at least six months ago if they’re 65 or older or are at high risk of COVID-19 because of health problems or their job or living conditions. Boosters are also recommended for people who received the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine at least two months ago.
While all three vaccines used in the U.S. continue to offer strong protection against severe COVID-19 illness and death, the shots’ effectiveness against milder infection can wane over time.
Naperville Mayor Calls for Removal of Mask Mandate Amid Increase in COVID Cases
In a recent Facebook post, the mayor of suburban Naperville says that he would support a removal of the state of Illinois’ mask mandate, even as COVID cases have continued to rise in recent weeks.
Naperville Mayor Steve Chirico points to the fact that Illinois is the only state in the Midwest that still has a mask mandate on the books, while still seeing increases in COVID cases, as a reason behind moving away from the mandate.
He goes on to argue that masks have a “minimal, if any,” impact on the spread of the coronavirus.
Read more here.
If You've Had COVID, When Can You Get Your Vaccine and Booster Shot?
How long should you wait to receive a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot after being diagnosed with a coronavirus case? Chicago Department of Public Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady weighed in Thursday.
"You can get the shot anytime after you have recovered from COVID, so you should not get the vaccine in those first 10 days when you're still in isolation," Arwady said in a Facebook live event. "This would be true for children too."
Chicago's top doctor added that for the first three months after recovering from COVID, the likelihood of being diagnosed again is "quite low." After three months, she said the natural immunity begins to decrease.
However, those who are considered the "best" protection from COVID, according to Arwady, have recovered from the virus and have been vaccinated.
Read more here.
Which COVID Booster Shot Should You Receive Based on Your First Dose? Chicago's Top Doc Weighs In
As millions of Americans become eligible to receive COVID-19 booster shots, how do you choose which vaccine is best for your additional dose?
Chicago's Commissioner of the Department of Public Health, Dr. Allison Arwady, broke down Thursday the best options based on your first dose.
‘We're in a Surge,' Chicago's Top Doctor Says Of COVID Cases
“We're in a surge.”
That’s what Dr. Allison Arwady, commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health, said during a Facebook Live Thursday morning about Chicago’s COVID-19 numbers.
“In terms of what this looks like in our numbers overall, we are in the high transmission risk range,” she continued.
Chicago is averaging 501 cases per day – an 18 percent increase over the previous week.
Arwady said the city is “averaging about 256 Chicagoans being newly hospitalized with COVID each day.” While she isn’t as concerned with ICU capacity – currently, just 60 older, mostly vulnerable and largely unvaccinated Chicagoans are in the ICU – that could change as the holidays approach.
“I expect there to be some more transmission associated with holidays, especially where people who are not vaccinated are gathering,” Arwady said.
Read more here.
Marcus Theatres Announces New Vaccine-Required Show Offerings at Select Locations
Chicago-area group Marcus Theatres announced that select locations will start offering coronavirus vaccination-required shows over upcoming weeks.
The shows will be available on two films, twice per day for two weeks at Addison Cinema and Gurnee Mills Cinema, according to the theater group.
COVID by the Numbers: 1 Year After the Worst Days of the Pandemic, Here's Where Illinois Stands
For the second year in a row, the state of Illinois is seeing increases in COVID cases during the month of November, but even as officials keep a wary eye on the data, things are still nowhere near as bad as they were at this time in 2020.
Nov. 16 and 17, 2020 represented the highest-number of average daily COVID cases that the state of Illinois had seen during the entire pandemic, capping off a rapid surge in cases that coincided with cooler weather and more residents congregating in indoor spaces.
On those two days, the state was averaging nearly 12,400 new cases of coronavirus per day, a staggering number that strained medical systems to their limit and forced state officials to implement new restrictions on restaurants, businesses and more.
Read more here.