Illinois COVID vaccine eligibility has expanded to anyone age 16 and older, except for in the city of Chicago.
Meanwhile, walk-in appointments at the United Center mass vaccination site will switch to the Johnson & Johnson vaccine starting next week.
Here are the latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic across Illinois today:
Coronavirus in Illinois: 2,433 New COVID Cases, 18 Deaths, 64K Vaccinations
Illinois health officials reported 2,433 new confirmed and probable coronavirus cases and 18 additional deaths in the last day, along with more than 64,000 vaccinations administered.
According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, Monday's new cases brought the state to 1,282,205 since the pandemic began last year. The number of new cases has continued to rise over recent weeks in Illinois, with some officials fearing that a new surge could be taking place.
Monday's 18 additional deaths brought the state to 21,523 confirmed COVID fatalities during the pandemic.
Read more here.
4 COVID Variants Becoming 'Much More Prominent' in Illinois, Lab Finds
Four COVID variants currently circulating in the U.S. are becoming "much more prominent" in Illinois as the state battles what health officials say is a rise in cases, data from a state lab has found.
Reditus Laboratories said recent testing revealed "several trending variants" had been identified in Illinois, "causing growing concern" as the variants are believed to be more contagious.
“The variants are becoming much more prominent,” Reditus CEO Dr. Aaron Rossi said. “This is causing growing concern of experts and we need to identify the variants and make sure the public is aware.”
Read more here.
Which Vaccine Should You Get? If You're Under 18, There's Only One Option
As Illinois expands COVID vaccine eligibility to any resident age 16 and older, there's one important difference for those under the age of 18.
That's because 16- and 17-year-olds can only receive Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine.
The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is the only one of the three vaccines currently being administered in the U.S. to be authorized for emergency use by FDA for individuals 16 years of age and older.
The Moderna and the Johnson & Johnson vaccine are authorized for those 18 and up.
Read more here.
Illinois COVID Vaccine Eligibility Opens: Here's What You Need to Know
Illinois COVID vaccine eligibility expanded to anyone age 16 and older, except for in the city of Chicago, on Monday.
For a look at what you need to know, click here.
United Center Mass Vaccination Site to Switch to Johnson & Johnson
All Chicago residents who book walk-in appointments at the United Center mass vaccination site will receive the Johnson & Johnson vaccine starting April 20, officials said Sunday.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot's office said the Chicago Department of Public Health has reported high demand from residents for the single-shot vaccine.
The drive-thru portion of the mass vaccination site, which opened in late March, will provide second doses of the Pfizer vaccine to individuals who've already received their first dose at the United Center, city officials said.
Walk-in appointments for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be available starting Monday, April 12. There are two options for making appointments: online and through a call center.
- To register online, visit Zocdoc.com/vaccine. The web site is projected to handle much higher volume of appointment requests. Zocdoc will show real-time appointment availability and eligible residents will then be able to select a date/time and book an appointment online. Date of birth will be required when booking an appointment to confirm vaccine eligibility.
- To register by phone, call (312) 746-4835. The multi-lingual call center will be available from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. Given the anticipated high demand for appointments, residents who can use the website should book their appointments online. While the call center has 200 staffers, those who need to use the call center will very likely experience lengthy wait times.
What Makes You More Likely to Get Side Effects From COVID Vaccine?
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. Experiencing side effects isn't necessarily a bad thing. In fact, it's a sign your body is responding.
So what makes someone more likely to experience them than others?
Women and younger people are more likely to report side effects, experts say, while side effects could also vary depending on whether or not you've had coronavirus.
People are more likely to report side effects after their second dose, Chicago's top doctor said, echoing reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But not getting side effects isn't negative, health experts say.
If Exposed to COVID While Vaccinated, Do You Need to Quarantine? Chicago's Top Doc Answers
If exposed to COVID-19 while fully vaccinated, do you still need to quarantine? Chicago's top doctor says no.
During a Facebook Live event, Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said those who have been fully vaccinated from the coronavirus do not need to quarantine if exposed to COVID.
"The CDC recommends that you do not if you are fully vaccinated," Arwady said. "You are considered protected against COVID and you would not need to quarantine after an exposure."
She reminded that though the vaccine are "very protective," they do not entirely prevent the spread of COVID-19, as the city has seen some cases in people fully vaccinated.
"Not a lot, it's unusual, but it happens," Arwady said. "And so we do ask people after an exposure certainly to be extra careful with monitoring their symptoms, extra careful with wearing your mask."
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.
Chicago Residents ‘Welcome' to Sign Up For COVID Vaccine Appointments in Suburbs, Officials Say
Chicago residents are welcome to sign up for COVID-19 vaccine appointments at Illinois mass vaccinations sites throughout the suburbs, Gov. J.B. Pritzker said last week.
"They're absolutely welcome to," Pritzker said. "I want to make sure that people in Chicago know that they are welcome to sign up for our mass vaccination sites."
Pritzker said he knows Chicago opens vaccine eligibility to all residents age 16 and older on April 19. Hence, he said, people should feel able to make appointments in the suburbs as the rest of Illinois opens eligibility on Monday.
Which COVID Vaccine is Best For You and How Long Do They Last?
As new studies surrounding COVID vaccine efficacy and how long both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines last continue to emerge, how can you know which is best for you?
According to medical experts, the three vaccines currently available in the U.S. each offer some level of protection.
For a breakdown, click here.