coronavirus illinois

Illinois Coronavirus Updates: Moderna and J&J Booster Shots, Holiday Vaccinations

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Booster shots received a big update Thursday from the Centers for Disease Control Prevention, but who will be eligible and when?

Meanwhile, for those looking to be fully vaccinated by the holidays, deadlines are approaching, according to Chicago's top doctor.

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

Illinois Daycare Workers Must Get COVID Vaccine or Test Weekly, Pritzker Says

In an effort to protect young children who aren't eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced an executive order Friday requiring workers at daycare facilities to receive the COVID-19 vaccine or submit to weekly testing requirements.

The mandate applies to more than 55,000 staff members who work at 2,872 licensed daycare facilities statewide. Those who opt not to be vaccinated for COVID-19 will must undergo testing at least once a week, the governor's office said in a news release.

Read more here.

Coronavirus in Illinois: 15,131 New COVID Cases, 183 Deaths, 209K Vaccinations in the Past Week

Illinois health officials on Friday reported 15,131 new COVID-19 cases in the past week, along with 183 additional deaths and over 209,651 new vaccine doses administered.

In all, 1,680,908 cases of coronavirus have been reported in the state since the pandemic began, according to the latest data from the Illinois Department of Public Health. The additional deaths reported this week bring the state to 25,590 confirmed COVID fatalities.

See the latest data here.

Walgreens, CVS Begin Offering COVID Booster Shots to Moderna, J&J Recipients

Walgreens and CVS began offering COVID vaccine booster shots to more eligible people across the country Friday, one day after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention endorsed extra doses of the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccines.

Walgreens said both Moderna and Johnson & Johnson booster shots will be 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.

Who Will Be Eligible for COVID Booster Shots and When After CDC Announcement?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention endorsed extra doses of all three of the nation’s vaccines Thursday, setting the course for millions of more Americans to receive a COVID-19 booster shot.

Certain people who received Pfizer vaccinations months ago already are eligible for a booster and now the CDC says specific Moderna and Johnson & Johnson recipients qualify, too.

And in a bigger change, the agency is allowing the flexibility of “mixing and matching" that extra dose regardless of which type people received first.

While booster shots are already advised for some individuals, who will the new recommendations cover? And when could shots starts being given?

Here's what you need to know.

Pfizer Says Its COVID-19 Vaccine Is More Than 90% Effective in Kids

Kid-size doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine appear safe and nearly 91% effective at preventing symptomatic infections in 5- to 11-year-olds, according to study details released Friday as the U.S. considers opening vaccinations to that age group.

The shots could begin in early November — with the first children in line fully protected by Christmas — if regulators give the go-ahead.

Details of Pfizer's study were posted online. The Food and Drug Administration was expected to post its independent review of the company's safety and effectiveness data later in the day.

Read more here.

CDC Expands Booster Rollout, OKs Mixing Shots

Millions more Americans can get a COVID-19 booster and choose a different company’s vaccine for that next shot, federal health officials said Thursday.

Certain people who received Pfizer vaccinations months ago already are eligible for a booster and now the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says specific Moderna and Johnson & Johnson recipients qualify, too. And in a bigger change, the agency is allowing the flexibility of “mixing and matching" that extra dose regardless of which type people received first.

The Food and Drug Administration had already authorized such an expansion of the nation's booster campaign on Wednesday, and it was also endorsed Thursday by a CDC advisory panel. CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky signed off on the recommendations late Thursday.

"These recommendations are another example of our fundamental commitment to protect as many people as possible from COVID-19," CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said in a statement Thursday evening. "The evidence shows that all three COVID-19 vaccines authorized in the United States are safe — as demonstrated by the over 400 million vaccine doses already given. And, they are all highly effective in reducing the risk of severe disease, hospitalization, and death, even in the midst of the widely circulating Delta variant.”

Read more here.

Advocate Aurora Says More Than 400 Employees Fired or Left Due to Vaccine Mandate

More than 400 employees at Advocate Aurora Health have either left the health care company or been fired for not complying with a vaccine mandate, the hospital group said.

In total, about 440 team members, representing 0.6% of Advocate Aurora's workforce, "were not in compliance and have parted ways with the organization," the group said in a statement.

"With about 99% of our team members compliant or in the process of becoming compliant with our vaccine policy, we are protecting the health and safety of our patients, communities and each other," the statement read.

Read more here.

FDA OKs Mixing COVID Vaccines for Booster Shots, But Can You and Should You Do It?

U.S. regulators on Wednesday said anyone eligible for a COVID vaccine booster shot can get a brand different from the one they received initially.

The move was a key step in the federal push to broaden booster access for the U.S. public.

Here's what to know.

Here's When You Need to Get Your COVID Vaccine to Be Fully Vaccinated By the Holidays

As Illinois health officials advocate for vaccinations ahead of the holiday season and cold winter months, Chicago's top doctor revealed when you would need to get your shots if you want to be fully vaccinated for holiday gatherings.

Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady gave dates to receive the first and single vaccine doses in order to be fully vaccinated by Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas and Kwanzaa.

Here are the deadlines.

The Delta Variant Has a Mutation That's Worrying Experts: Here's What We Know So Far

A newly-discovered mutation of the delta variant is being investigated in the U.K. amid worries that it could make the virus even more transmissible and undermine Covid-19 vaccines further.

Still, there are many unknowns surrounding this descendent or subtype of the delta variant — formally known as AY.4.2 — which some are dubbing the new "delta plus" variant.

U.K. government health officials have said it's too early to tell whether the mutation poses a greater risk to public health than the delta variant, which itself is significantly more infectious than the original Covid-19 strain (and its successor, the alpha variant).

Read more here.

Illinois Prepares to Increase Booster Shots as More Residents Set to Become Eligible

Gov. J.B. Pritzker delivered a COVID-19 update for Illinois Tuesday morning.

Illinois health officials detailed a plan Tuesday to get more COVID-19 booster shots in the arms of residents across the state as more doses become available.

With more residents expected to become eligible for boosters in coming weeks, the Illinois Department of Public Health plans to increase education and provide skilled nursing facilities to administer shots.

“We know that COVID-19 vaccines are life-saving," Gov. J.B. Pritzker said in a statement. "For our seniors, you’re 29 times more likely to end up in the hospital if you’re unvaccinated. Boosters will extend that life-saving protection."

Read more here.

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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