Strong demand in Illinois for updated bivalent COVID-19 vaccinations

The CDC authorized two new bivalent booster vaccines on September 2 that include an mRNA...
The CDC authorized two new bivalent booster vaccines on September 2 that include an mRNA component of the original strain to provide an immune response.(Alastair Grant | AP)
Published: Sep. 16, 2022 at 1:47 PM CDT
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CHICAGO, Ill. (KFVS) - The Illinois Department of Public Health reported that about 188,800 Illinoisans have received a dose of the new, updated COVID-19 vaccines since they were authorized for use at the beginning of September.

Data indicates that daily vaccination numbers have jumped to the highest level seen since early February, during the major surge in illnesses caused by the Omicron variant. The announcement comes as 66 counties in Illinois are at an elevated level for COVID-19.

IDPH is reporting 17,584 new confirmed and probable cases of coronavirus disease in Illinois, including 74 deaths since September 9.

“It is very encouraging to see Illinois residents turning out in such strong numbers to take advantage of the updated bivalent booster shots that are now available,” said IDPH Director Dr. Sameer Vohra. “These new booster shots – designed specifically to offer extra protection from the dominant Omicron strain of the virus - are the latest, most advanced tool to protect Illinois residents from experiencing the worst effects of COVID-19. It’s important for everyone who is eligible to get up to date on vaccines and boosters as soon as possible, before a potential fall and winter surge leads to increased infections.”

The CDC authorized two new bivalent booster vaccines on September 2 that include an mRNA component of the original strain to provide an immune response that is broadly protective against COVID-19 and an added mRNA component in common between the omicron variant BA.4 and BA.5 lineages to provide better protection against COVID-19 caused by the omicron variant.

The updated boosters are available at pharmacies, hospitals, and other healthcare providers. The best way to locate a vaccine provider near you is to visit and search for bivalent booster availability.

According to the CDC, 20 Illinois counties are now rated at High Community Level for COVID-19. An additional 46 counties in Illinois are now rated at Medium Community Level.

Currently, IDPH is reporting a total of 3,733,902 cases, including 34,885 deaths, in 102 counties in Illinois since the beginning of the pandemic.

The counties in Illinois listed at High Community Level are Champaign, Clay, Coles, DeKalb, Douglas, Edgar, Fayette, Ford, Franklin, Fulton, Henderson, Jackson, Johnson, Perry, Richland, Scott, Stephenson, Vermilion, Wabash and Williamson.

The CDC recommends the following measures for people in areas that are rated at High Community Level for COVID-19 transmission:

  • Wear a well-fitting mask indoors in public, regardless of vaccination status (including in K-12 schools and other indoor community settings)
  • If you are immunocompromised or high risk for severe disease
  • Consider avoiding non-essential indoor activities in public where you could be exposed
  • Talk to your healthcare provider about whether you need to take other precautions
  • Have a plan for rapid testing if needed (e.g., having home tests or access to testing)
  • IF YOU TEST POSITIVE: Talk to your healthcare provider about whether you are a candidate for treatments like oral antivirals, and monoclonal antibodies
  • Stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines and boosters
  • Maintain improved ventilation throughout indoor spaces when possible
  • Follow CDC recommendations for isolation and quarantine, including getting tested if you are exposed to COVID-19 or have symptoms of COVID-19

Vaccination is the key to ending this pandemic. To find a COVID-19 vaccination location near you, go to The federal government has established a new website that provides an all-purpose toolkit with information on how to obtain masks, treatment, vaccines and testing resources for all areas of the country at: