coronavirus illinois

Illinois Coronavirus Updates: COVID Vaccines for Kids, Mask Mandate in Cook County

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A decision that could have brought more vaccine options for teens has been delayed as regulators study a rare risk.

At the same time, coronavirus vaccinations for children under 12 could get final authorization this week.

Here's what you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic across Illinois today:

Moderna: FDA Delaying Decision on Its Shot for Adolescents

U.S. regulators are delaying their decision on Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine for 12- to 17-year-olds while they study the rare risk of heart inflammation, the company said Sunday.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration told the company Friday evening that its review could last until January, Moderna said. The company also said it will delay filing a request for emergency-use authorization of a lower dose of the vaccine for 6- to 11-year-olds.

Heart inflammation is an exceedingly rare risk of both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, and it more commonly seen in young men or boys. It’s difficult for clinical trials to detect such a rare problem. And public health officials have repeatedly stressed that COVID-19 itself can cause heart inflammation at higher rates than the rare cases caused by the vaccine.

Read more here.

COVID Shots for Kids Under 12 Face Final Hurdle This Week

After the Food and Drug Administration gave Pfizer's child-size COVID vaccine emergency use authorization Friday, children as young as 5 could soon be eligible for coronavirus vaccines nationwide.

But one more step must be taken.

Full-strength Pfizer shots already are recommended for anyone 12 or older, but pediatricians and many parents are anxiously awaiting protection for younger children to stem infections from the extra-contagious delta variant and help keep kids in school.

Friday's vote was the next step in a review process that will still require the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to approve the vaccine. The CDC scheduled an advisory committee meeting to review the doses this week and is expected to authorize them for public distribution immediately thereafter.

Read more here.

Vaccine Events in Chicago Today

  • CDPH Greater Lawn Immunization Clinic: 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
  • CDPH Uptown Immunization Clinic: 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
  • Flu & COVID Clinic, 11th Ward: 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
  • Flu & Covid Vaccine Clinic, 1344 W 79th St: 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
  • CPS, Austin High School: 10:00 a.m. -12:00 p.m.
  • CPS, King High School: 10:00 a.m. -12:00 p.m.

How to Schedule Your COVID Booster Shot at CVS and Walgreens

Walgreens and CVS began offering COVID vaccine booster shots to more eligible people across the country last week, but both chains are encouraging appointments for those planning to get their shots.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention endorsed extra doses of the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccines on Oct. 21.

Walgreens said both Moderna and Johnson & Johnson booster shots are now available in stores nationwide, though availability will vary by location.

Meanwhile, CVS Health announced that select pharmacy and MinuteClinic locations began offering the Moderna COVID-19 booster shot to eligible populations Friday, in addition to the previously authorized Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 booster.

Read more here.

Indoor Mask Mandate Remains in Effect in Cook County Despite COVID Cases Decreasing, Officials Remind

Cook County's indoor mask mandate remains in full effect for all suburban businesses and municipalities despite COVID-19 cases plateauing or decreasing, the health department reminded Saturday.

"We are encouraged that COVID-19 cases have plateaued or slightly decreased from the recent surge, but given that indoor activity will increase with colder weather, the masking mandate remains an important tool in turning back this pandemic," the Cook County Department of Public Health said in a statement.

Both the Illinois and Cook County mask mandates require that all people age 2 and older "who can medically tolerate a mask" wear one while in multi-unit residential buildings and public places, health officials said.

CCDPH urged all those eligible to receive the COVID vaccine, noting that the shots are "safe and effective."

Read more here.

Chicago City Council Turns Down Attempt to Repeal Vaccine Mandate

With a 13-30 vote, the Chicago City Council on Friday rejected a proposed ordinance to repeal the city's employee vaccine mandate, the second such attempt by several council members.

A special meeting was called by approximately a dozen aldermen, including those who support the efforts of the Fraternal Order of Police, which has been embroiled in a showdown with city officials for weeks, refusing to comply with the mandate.

Read more here.

Here's How to Add Your Vaccine Card to Apple Wallet on iPhone

With a new software update, Apple has created a way to access your COVID-19 vaccination card from your phone.

Apple's iOS 15.1 operating system allows users to add "verifiable" COVID vaccination information in the Wallet app, making it easier to provide proof of vaccination as opposed to carrying a physical card.

Read more here.

Illinois Health Officials Issue Updated Holiday Guidance

The Illinois Department of Public Health on Friday issued updated holiday guidance "to help people celebrate more safely as we continue to battle the COVID-19 pandemic," including considerations for travel, gatherings and holiday guests.

"Last year, many people held off getting together with family and friends during the holiday season due to the pandemic,” IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said in a statement. "This year, we have a safe and effective vaccine to help protect against severe illness due to COVID-19 that will allow friends and families to more safely celebrate together."

Here's what to know.

How Accurate Are At-Home COVID Tests? Here's What Experts Say

With businesses, events and places of work now requiring negative COVID tests in many cases, demand for testing has increased in recent months, but for those using at-home testing methods, how accurate are they?

There are a number of at-home options now available, the most recent of which received authorization from the Food and Drug Administration this week. But concerns sparked earlier this month after some tests were recalled due to false-positive results.

Here's what you should know.

10 Myths About COVID-19 Vaccine For Kids, Busted By Chicago Pediatricians

The FDA is planning to meet soon to discuss the next eligible age group, children ages 5-11, for the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine, and pediatricians are preparing to administer the shots, once the vaccine is approved.

Doctors at Advocate Children’s Hospital have been talking with families and parents, listening to their questions and concerns. Misinformation about the vaccine is a big concern for Advocate doctors, who composed a list of the top myths they’re hearing.

Read the top 10 myths here.

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