IDPH: Therapies prevented 8,600 Illinois COVID hospitalizations over last four months
The Illinois Department of Public Health said widely available COVID-19 treatments have helped prevent approximately 8,600 hospitalizations in the last four months. The treatments are especially recommended for individuals over 50 and those with underlying medical conditions. IDPH said the key is to start these medications quickly, within the first five days.
“The therapeutic treatments that are available for COVID-19 work,” said IDPH Director Dr. Sameer Vohra. “The data from Illinois that IDPH released today show just how effective these treatments can be at protecting people who contract COVID-19 from being hospitalized and severe outcomes. These treatments are especially recommended for individuals over 50 and those with underlying medical conditions. The key is to start these medications quickly, within the first five days. If you have COVID-19 symptoms, please test and get treated right away.”
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 percent of the state’s population is within a 10-mile radius of one of these locations.
The agency is also strongly urging all who are eligible to take advantage of the new, updated booster shots that are now available. They provide better protection against the omicron variants.
“Vaccines continue to be the most effective tools for preventing the most severe symptoms of COVID-19,” Dr. Vohra continued. “The new booster shots, now available, are the latest, most advanced tool to keep Illinois residents safe and protected. 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 is especially important for those who are most at risk of serious outcomes. We encourage everyone who is eligible to get up to date with these new boosters as soon as possible.”
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.
The updated boosters are 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.