Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said COVID hospitalizations remain a point of some concern in the city.
The Food and Drug Administration has given a green light for elementary school-age kids to get the updated booster doses — one made by Pfizer for 5- to 11-year-olds, and a version from rival Moderna for those as young as 6.
At a press briefing in Geneva, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the world has never been in a better position to stop COVID-19. The U.N. health agency said deaths fell by 22% in the past week, at just over 11,000 reported worldwide. There were 3.1 million new cases, a drop of 28%.
While cases in white men have dropped in recent weeks, Black people are making up a growing percentage of infections — nearly 38% during the final week of August, according to the latest data available. Latinos are also disproportionately infected, making up roughly a third of infections.
Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady urged all Chicagoans older than 12 who were vaccinated against COVID-19 with the original vaccine at least two months ago to get the updated vaccine, which targets the BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants of the omicron variant of COVID-19.
The new boosters are combination or “bivalent” shots that contain half the original vaccine that’s been used since December 2020 and half protection against today’s dominant omicron versions, BA.4 and BA.5.
Dr. Allison Arwady, commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health, called the vaccines the “best possible match” against strains of the virus now in circulation. They’ve been formulated to provide immunity against the omicron variants BA.4 and BA.5, which account for nearly all of the cases of COVID-19 in the U.S.
The move by the Food and Drug Administration tweaks the recipe of shots made by Pfizer and rival Moderna that already have saved millions of lives. The hope is that the modified boosters will blunt yet another winter surge.
Vaccinations for babies, toddlers and preschoolers opened in the U.S. in June after months of delay. Only about 6% of youngsters ages 6 months through 4 years had gotten at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by mid-August, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Polio was once one of the nation’s most feared diseases, with annual outbreaks causing thousands of cases of paralysis. Its elimination in the U.S., officially declared in 1979, is considered one of the nation’s greatest public health victories.
Both Pfizer and Moderna are working on bivalent boosters: vaccines made up of both the old formula and a new one that targets the Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants of the coronavirus. If the shots meet US Food and Drug Administration standards, they will probably be available as early as September, the FDA says.
After noticing changes in their menstrual cycles after getting a COVID-19 vaccine, a pair of researchers surveyed others about their experiences. A new analysis of over 35,000 responses finds many experienced changes to their periods, including unexpected bleeding.
The governor is experiencing “mild symptoms” and has been prescribed Paxlovid, an antiviral medication used to treat the disease.
The new variants, labeled BA.4 and BA.5, are offshoots of the omicron strain that has been responsible for nearly all of the virus spread in the U.S. and are even more contagious than their predecessors.
Within days of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control approving vaccine courses for children six-months through 4 years old, area hospitals, pediatricians and health care centers are beginning to put those doses in children’s arms.
Officials granted double the number of COVID-19 vaccine exemptions to members of the Chicago Police Department than they did to members of any other city department, according to a WTTW News analysis of data provided by the mayor’s office.