The vaccines were more than 40% effective in preventing adults from getting sick enough from the flu that they had to go to a doctor’s office, clinic or hospital, health officials said during a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention vaccines meeting Wednesday.
The move to end the national emergency and public health emergency declarations would formally restructure the federal coronavirus response to treat the virus as an endemic threat to public health that can be managed through agencies’ normal authorities.
It’s been three years since the first Chicago COVID-19 case was confirmed. Since then, more than four million people in Illinois have been diagnosed with coronavirus; it has killed more than 36,000 people in the state.
The Food and Drug Administration on Monday proposed a simplified approach for future vaccination efforts, allowing most adults and children to get a once-a-year shot to protect against the mutating virus.
Illinois reported 3,314 new COVID cases Tuesday, leading to about a 7% increase from last week. Meanwhile, data shows RSV cases are on a steady decline and the virus could finally be peaking.
Coronavirus-related hospital admissions are climbing again in the United States, with older adults a growing share of U.S. deaths and less than half of nursing home residents up to date on COVID-19 vaccinations.
The Food and Drug Administration’s decision aims to better protect the littlest kids from severe COVID-19 at a time when children’s hospitals already are packed with tots suffering from a variety of respiratory illnesses.
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.