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Anyone, 6 months of age and older, is eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Find your nearest vaccination location at vaccines.gov.

IDPH Urges All Who Are Eligible to Get Up to Date With Newly Approved Bivalent Booster Shots

News – Friday, September 2, 2022

Public Health Officials Announce 26,127 New Cases of Coronavirus Disease Over the Past Week

CHICAGO – With 90 counties in the state at an elevated level for COVID-19, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is urging all who are eligible to take advantage of the new bivalent booster shots that have been authorized by the CDC. IDPH is reporting 26,127 new confirmed and probable cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Illinois, including 70 deaths since August 26, 2022.

“Once the updated booster shots become available next week, I urge everyone in Illinois who is eligible to take advantage of the opportunity to get fully protected before we enter the fall season,” said IDPH Director Dr. Sameer Vohra. “These new bivalent vaccines are designed to offer extra protection against the omicron variants which are now the dominant strain of the virus. Getting up to date now is especially important for those who are at risk of serious outcomes as the updated vaccines offer protection from hospitalization and even death.”

This week, the FDA granted emergency use authorization for two new bivalent booster vaccines 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 Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine, Bivalent, is authorized for use as a single booster dose in individuals 18 years of age and older. The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, Bivalent, is authorized for use as a single booster dose in individuals 12 years of age and older. 

IDPH expects to receive 580,000 doses of the new bivalent vaccines for distribution in the next week. This is in addition to 150,000 doses designated for the City of Chicago. The updated boosters will be available at pharmacies, hospitals, and other healthcare providers. The best way to locate a vaccine provider near you is to go to www.vaccines.gov and search for bivalent booster availability.

According to the CDC, 30 Illinois counties are now rated at High Community Level for COVID-19. An additional 60 counties in Illinois are now rated at Medium Community Level.

Currently, IDPH is reporting a total of 3,696,385 cases, including 34,747 deaths, in 102 counties in Illinois since the beginning of the pandemic.

As of last night, 1,263 individuals in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19.  Of those, 154 patients were in the ICU and 46 patients with COVID-19 were on ventilators.  The preliminary seven-day statewide case rate is 205 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 Illinoisans.

The counties in Illinois listed at High Community Level are Adams, Champaign, Clark, Coles, Crawford, Douglas, Edgar, Ford, Franklin, Fulton, Grundy, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Knox, Lawrence, Lee, Macon, Massac, Perry, Pike, Shelby, Stephenson, Vermilion, Wabash, Wayne, Whiteside, Will, Williamson, and Winnebago.

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
    • Wear a mask or respirator that provides you with greater protection
    • 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
  • If you have household or social contact with someone at high risk for severe disease
    • consider self-testing to detect infection before contact
    • consider wearing a mask when indoors with them
  • 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

At the Medium Community Level, persons who are elderly or immunocompromised (at risk of severe outcomes) are advised to wear a mask in indoor public places. In addition, they should make sure to get up to date on their COVID-19 vaccines or get their 2nd booster, if eligible.

IDPH has been supporting pharmacies and healthcare providers in efforts to increase their inventories of the various FDA-authorized treatments. There are over 1,200 treatment locations in Illinois - including all the major retail pharmacies. More than 96.7% of the state’s population is within a 10-mile radius of one of these locations.

A total of 23,248,758 vaccines have been administered in Illinois. The seven-day rolling average of vaccines administered daily is 5,397 doses.  Since August 26, 37,778 doses were reported administered in Illinois. Of Illinois’ total population, more than 77% has received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose, more than 69% of Illinois’ total population is fully vaccinated, and more than 54% of the vaccinated population has an initial booster according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Data indicates that the risk of hospitalization and severe outcomes from COVID-19 is much higher for unvaccinated people than for those who are up to date on their vaccinations.  All data are provisional and are subject to change.  Additional information and COVID-19 data can be found at https://dph.illinois.gov/covid19.html.  

Vaccination is the key to ending this pandemic.  To find a COVID-19 vaccination location near you, go to www.vaccines.gov.  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: https://www.covid.gov/.