NOTE: NBC Chicago will offer a live feed of the address beginning at 10:30 a.m. in the player above.
Top Chicago officials are set to give an update on new COVID vaccine booster shots in the city Tuesday.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady, alongside other city leaders, are scheduled to speak at 10:30 a.m. from City Hall. (Watch live in the player above)
The announcement comes as the city expects to ramp up its distribution of the newly-approved booster shots designed to target the omicron variant and its highly contagious subvariants.
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The long-awaited COVID booster shots have arrived at pharmacies in the Chicago area, with more doses on the way headed to doctors offices and health clinics across Chicago and Illinois.
According to a Friday announcement from the Illinois Department of Public Health, the state expects to receive 580,000 doses of the new booster. And that's in addition to the 150,000 doses Chicago is primed to receive, IDPH said.
Already appointments have opened at several area pharmacies.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday cleared the reformulated COVID shots following a nearly seven-hour meeting and a 13-1 vote by the agency's independent committee on vaccines. CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky signed off on the shots a few hours later.
And while COVID cases in the state continue to creep up, with 26,127 new cases reported in Illinois in the past week, the shot isn't cleared for all ages. And, the timing of an individual's last dose matters.
According to the CDC, only those who have completed a full COVID vaccine series -- which consists of either two Moderna or Pfizer shots, or one Johnson & Johnson shot -- are eligible. Additionally, the shots have certain age restrictions. Here's a breakdown:
- Individuals 18 and older are eligible to receive either Pfizer’s or Moderna’s updated COVID booster shot
- Only Pfizer booster doses can be administered to those aged 12 through 17
- While those younger than 18 years old are eligible for the new COVID booster, they aren't eligible for the Moderna dose
Unlike previous boosters, which may have only been recommended for those who are older or immunocompromised, the new booster shots are recommended for anyone in an eligible age group.
According to a statement put out Thursday by the CDC, the Pfizer booster is recommended for anyone 12 and older, and the Moderna booster is recommended for anyone 18 and older.
"Who is expected to be eligible to receive this updated COVID vaccine? This is all pending FDA and CDC this week, but what we're hearing is it's likely to be anybody aged 12 and up, who has completed their primary series," Dr. Arwady said in a Facebook live update last week, prior to the CDC's approval.
"It doesn't matter whether you got a booster in the past."
The updated booster dose can be given to eligible individuals at least 2 months after they've received their last booster dose, the CDC says.
Arwady has said uptake of the vaccine could be critical to preventing a fall or winter COVID surge.
“The thing I worry about isn’t about whether a surge comes with omicron, but if we don’t get a lot of uptake of the updated vaccine, and we continue to see a lot of mutation, and we have a variant emerge that is really different from anything we’ve seen previously,” she said last week. “That’s what happened last December and January.”