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IDPH reports strong demand for new COVID-19 vaccines

Vaccination
Phil Roeder/Creative Commons https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode
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The Illinois Department of Public Health announced approximately 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, 2022.

“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.”

IDPH reported that over the last week, an average of more than 21,000 doses of the new bivalent vaccines have been administered across the state each day. This is more than double the daily average for all vaccinations for most of the summer.

Notably, older Illinoisans, who are at risk of more severe outcomes, have been turning out in higher proportions for the updated vaccines. While people 65 and older make up 20% of Illinois’ eligible population, they have received 44% of the bivalent doses.

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 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 visit www.vaccines.gov 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.

As of last night, 1,153 individuals in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19. Of those, 145 patients were in the ICU and 49 patients with COVID-19 were on ventilators. The preliminary seven-day statewide case rate is 138 COVID-19 cases per 100,000 Illinoisans.

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.

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

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 23,479,530 vaccines have been administered in Illinois. The seven-day rolling average of vaccines administered daily is 27,025 doses, including the bivalent booster and first doses. Since September 9, 189,177 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/.

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