Dr. Allison Arwady appears on "Chicago Tonight" on Oct. 18, 2022. (WTTW News)

Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said COVID hospitalizations remain a point of some concern in the city.

This provided by Pfizer in October 2022 shows manufacturing of the company's COVID-19 bivalent vaccine for ages 5-11. The U.S. on Wednesday, Oct. 12, authorized updated COVID-19 boosters for children as young as 5, seeking to expand protection ahead of an expected winter wave. (Pfizer via AP)

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.

In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, a medical worker takes a swab sample from a resident for nucleic acid test at a community testing site for COVID-19 in Yunyan District of Guiyang, Sept. 5, 2022. (Yang Wenbin / Xinhua via AP)

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%.

Dr. Demetre Daskalakis, White House Monkeypox response deputy coordinator, speaks during a press briefing at the White House, Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

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.

(WTTW News)

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. 

This August 2022 photo provided by Pfizer shows vials of the company’s updated COVID-19 vaccine during production in Kalamazoo, Mich. (Pfizer via AP)

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.

(WTTW News)

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.

This August 2022 photo provided by Pfizer shows vials of the company’s updated COVID-19 vaccine during production in Kalamazoo, Mich. (Pfizer via AP)

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.

A vial of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children 6 months through 4 years old is seen June 21, 2022, at Montefiore Medical Group in the Bronx borough of New York. (AP Photo / Mary Altaffer)

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.

This 1964 microscope image made available by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows damage from the polio virus to human spinal cord tissue. (Dr. Karp / Emory University / CDC via AP, File)

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 booster 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. (Frederic J. Brown / AFP / Getty Images)

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.

(WTTW News)

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. 

Gov. J.B. Pritzker appears during a press conference on Friday, June 24, 2022. (WTTW News)
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The governor is experiencing “mild symptoms” and has been prescribed Paxlovid, an antiviral medication used to treat the disease.

Dr. Rochelle Walensky, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, testifies during a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearing to examine an update on the ongoing Federal response to COVID-19, June 16, 2022, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo / Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

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.

(CNN)

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.

(WTTW News)

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.