IDPH encourages COVID-19 boosters, flu shots

IDPH officials continue to urge vaccinations heading into colder months.
IDPH officials continue to urge vaccinations heading into colder months.(WIFR)
Published: Oct. 7, 2022 at 5:22 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD (WGEM) - The Illinois Department of Public Health is urging people to protect themselves from COVID-19 and the flu. IDPH Director Dr. Sameer Vohra received his COVID-19 bivalent booster and a flu shot during a vaccination clinic in the Metro East Friday.

“With fall underway, it’s vitally important for everyone to protect themselves from both COVID-19 and the flu,” Vohra said. “We now have two powerful tools readily available to keep us safe, healthy and protected during the fall and winter respiratory virus season.”

Dr. Vohra continues to stress that the new bivalent vaccines offer extra protection against the omicron variant. He said that seasonal flu vaccines keep people protected from new influenza strains.

“I encourage all of you to use these important tools to keep yourself and your loved ones healthy this upcoming holiday season,” Vohra said.

IDPH officials also announced that another 144,200 Illinoisans received a dose of the new bivalent COVID-19 booster shot in the past week. The department noted that more than 637,000 people in the state have been boosted with the recently approved vaccine since the start of September.

The state’s daily vaccination numbers are at the highest level IDPH has reported since February, during the major Omicron surge. IDPH officials reported an average of more than 20,000 doses of the bivalent vaccines were given across the state each day during the past week. The department said that is more than double the daily average for vaccines throughout most of the summer.

The Moderna bivalent vaccine single-dose booster is authorized for anyone 18 and older. The Pfizer bivalent vaccine is authorized for use as a single booster dose for people 12 and older.

22,750 vaccines were given over the last 24 hours. 85.8% of Illinoisans 12 and older have received at least one shot. 77.7% of those people are fully vaccinated. The 7-day rolling average for shots given is 23,388.

The Illinois Department of Public Health and CDC reported Friday that there are no counties listed at high risk for COVID-19 for the first time since the middle of May. There are now only 14 counties listed at the medium-level risk for COVID. IDPH reported 11,447 new confirmed and probable cases since last Friday.

IDPH reported another 62 COVID-19 deaths over the past week. IDPH said 35,073 Illinoisans have died from COVID-related illness since the pandemic started.

IDPH reported 1,922 new confirmed and probable cases and 11 deaths on Friday. The case rate 7-day average is now 90 per 100,000 people.

929 people are currently hospitalized for COVID-19 in Illinois. 111 people are in the ICU and 28 of those patients are on ventilators.

Counties listed at the medium community level include Adams, Boone, Effingham, Fayette, Ford, Henderson, Jo Daviess, Lee, Ogle, Pike, Pope, Stephenson and Winnebago.

Elderly or immunocompromised people living in areas labeled at medium-level risk for COVID-19 should wear masks in indoor places as well. The CDC said those individuals should be up-to-date on COVID-19 vaccines and get a second booster shot if eligible.

IDPH data indicated that the risk of hospitalization and severe outcomes from COVID-19 is much higher for unvaccinated people than for people who are up to date on their vaccinations.

The state continues to work with pharmacies and healthcare providers to increase the inventory of various FDA-authorized treatments. IDPH reported there are over 1,200 treatment locations across the state, including all major retail pharmacies. More than 96.7% of the state’s population is within a 10-mile radius of one of these locations.

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