File photo of an at-home COVID-19 test. (Annie Spratt / Unsplash)

Millions of people deal with COVID-19 symptoms long after their initial infections. Two new studies give a better look at the burden from this health problem that doctors say often goes under the radar.

The virus that causes COVID-19 has more letters to describe its many derivatives than a bowl of alphabet soup. (mrs / Moment RF / Getty Images)

Although the common cold doesn’t get as many names – at least not the ones that make headlines – the specificity with which scientists talk about SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, matters because it is still such a problem.

Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Sameer Vohra is pictured at a news conference in Springfield in May 2023. IDPH is warning Illinoisans to take precautions against the spread of respiratory viruses as hospitalizations rise. (Jerry Nowicki / Capitol News Illinois)

COVID-19 hospitalizations up in recent weeks, masks recommended in certain settings

Hospitalizations for COVID-19 were up 22% statewide last week compared to the week before.

Fewer than two in five adults have gotten their flu vaccine this season, and only about one in six have gotten the latest COVID-19 vaccine, according to CDC data. (Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times / Getty Images)

About 7 million fewer adults have gotten their flu shot so far this season compared with the last virus season. Vaccination coverage for COVID-19 is also low, with just 17% of adults and about 8% of children getting the latest shot, according to CDC data through Dec. 2.

(WTTW News)

Forty-four counties in the state were at an elevated level for COVID-19 hospitalizations, according to CDC data for the week ending Nov. 25. Cook County remains at a low level for COVID-19 hospitalizations.

Rush Hospital outreach street nurse Joshua Dueshop vaccinates a resident of the Martha Washington senior apartments in North Center. (Amanda Vinicky / WTTW News)

While the public health emergency is officially over, COVID-19 is still making people sick, and health officials say they’ve entered a new front.

Instructional materials are posted on a wall of a kindergarten class in Maryland on Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2023. (AP Photo / Julia Nikhinson, File)

More parents are questioning routine childhood vaccinations that they used to automatically accept, an effect of the political schism that emerged during the pandemic around COVID-19 vaccines, experts say.

An illustration if the medication Beyfortus. (Credit: AstraZeneca)

Centers for Disease Control Director Dr. Mandy Cohen said manufacturers, who are making the immunization for the first time, underestimated demand.

Community health worker Stefferina Woodrick leaving a flyer at a house on the 7800 block of South Pulaski Road in Ashburn on Oct. 31, 2023. (Eunice Alpasan / WTTW News)

Their mission was to pass out flyers with information about an upcoming COVID-19 and flu vaccination clinic at Richard J. Daley Community College on the Southwest Side.

FILE - A Moderna Spikevax COVID-19 vaccine is seen at a drugstore in Cypress, Texas, Sept. 20, 2023. More than a month after federal officials recommended a new version of the COVID-19 vaccines, 7% of U.S. adults and 2% of children have gotten a shot. (Melissa Phillip / Houston Chronicle via AP, File)

Officials approved updated shots that have a single target, an omicron descendant named XBB.1.5. Last month, the CDC recommended the new shots for everyone 6 months and older.

(Nataliya Vaitkevich / Pexels)

About 66,900 Chicagoans, or 2.4% of the city population, have received the new vaccine since updated COVID-19 vaccines were recommended in mid-September, the Chicago Department of Public Health reports.

FILE - A prescription is filled, Friday, Jan. 6, 2023, in Morganton, N.C. A dose of patience may come in handy at the pharmacy counter this fall, as drug and staffing shortages haven’t gone away. (Chris Carlson / AP Photo, File)

Some drugstores have addressed their challenges by adding employees at busy hours. But experts say many pharmacies, particularly the big chains, still don’t have enough workers behind the counter.

(Engin Akyurt / Pixabay)

Amid many unanswered questions and the end of the federal COVID-19 public health emergency declaration earlier this year, long COVID patients remain in limbo as they continue to manage and live with their symptoms.

(WTTW News)

COVID-19 vaccines and flu shots will be available to everyone at no cost, regardless of insurance or immigration status.

(KoldoyChris / Moment RF / Getty Images)

The endorsement from the CDC and the committee means the vaccines will be covered by public and private insurance plans. The new vaccines have been updated to fend off the currently circulating viruses that cause COVID-19.

Brian Ong, CVS pharmacist, draws up syringes with the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine as he works at Peninsula Del Rey at the vaccine clinic where Covid-19 vaccinations are given at the senior living community on Friday, January 15, 2021 in Daly City, Calif. CVS administered the vaccine clinic. (Lea Suzuki / San Francisco Chronicle / AP)

A US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisory group is scheduled to meet to discuss COVID-19 vaccines Tuesday, meaning the vaccines could become available within just a few days,