More than 1.5 million Illinoisans have received bivalent COVID-19 boosters since September
SPRINGFIELD (WGEM) - The Illinois Department of Public Health reported Thursday that more than 1.5 million people in Illinois have received a dose of the bivalent COVID-19 booster shots since they were authorized in early September. IDPH officials said 160,00 doses were given over the past week.
Illinois has also administered over 25 million COVID-19 vaccinations since they first became available in late December 2020.
IDPH Director Dr. Sameer Vohra is strongly urging Illinoisans to get fully up-to-date with a COVID-19 booster and flu shot before gathering with family and friends for the upcoming holidays.
“As the days get shorter and the weather gets colder, we continue to see respiratory viruses spreading rapidly across Illinois and across the country - this includes RSV, influenza, and COVID-19,” Vohra said. “The U.S. is currently facing its highest flue hospitalization rate in a decade, with young children and seniors most at risk. Vaccines remain our best tools to prevent the worst outcomes from COVID-19 and flu.”
Dr. Vohra recommended that anyone not up-to-date on vaccines get fully protected from COVID-19 and the flu right away. Vohra said the new COVID-19 bivalent booster and flu shot target the current strains of these viruses.
Large numbers of Illinoisans are continuing to receive bivalent booster shots. IDPH officials reported that there is currently an average of more than 23,000 doses of the new vaccines given across the state each day.
The CDC authorized the updated COVID-19 bivalent vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech for children ages 5 to 11 on October 12. Bivalent vaccines from Moderna were also authorized for children and young adults 6 to 17 on the same day. Doctors, parents, and guardians can find resources from the Illinois Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics by clicking here.
26,378 vaccines were given over the last 24 hours. 86.3% of Illinoisans 12 and older have received at least one shot. 78.1% of those people are fully vaccinated. The 7-day rolling average for shots given is 25,163.
The updated booster shots are available at pharmacies, hospitals, and other healthcare providers. You can look for a vaccine provider near you by clicking here and searching for bivalent booster availability.
IDPH reported Thursday that there were 11,020 new confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases since November 4. The state also reported another 38 deaths during that time. 35,327 Illinoisans have died from COVID-related illnesses since the pandemic started.
State officials reported 2,187 new confirmed and probable cases and 19 deaths on Thursday. The case rate 7-day average is 106 per 100,000 people.
1,109 people are hospitalized for COVID-19 in Illinois. 147 people are in the ICU and 42 of those patients are on ventilators.
31 counties in Illinois are currently at an elevated community level for COVID-19. However, none of those counties are considered to be at the high community level. The CDC numbers will be updated on November 11.
The counties listed at the medium community level are Boone, Brown, Cass, Champaign, Coles, Cumberland, Douglas, Ford, Fulton, Hamilton, Henderson, Iroquis, Jo Daviess, Johnson, Kankakee, Knox, Lee, Marshall, Mason, Massac, Menard, Ogle, Peoria, Pike, Pope, Stephenson, Tazewell, Union, Wabash, Warren, 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.
IDPH is also distributing 1 million COVID-19 rapid antigen tests to 200,000 families in economically disadvantaged zip codes outside of Chicago. The effort was made possible through a partnership with the Rockefeller Foundation’s public charity and its Project ACT (Access COVID Tests) program. People can find out if they live in an eligible zip code and request a package of five tests at the Project ACT website. The COVID-19 tests will be available on a first-come-first-serve basis and will be delivered to the home address applicants use.
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