IDPH recommends COVID-19 bivalent boosters for kids 5 and older

The CDC recently expanded the bivalent COVID-19 vaccines to include children 5 and older.
The CDC recently expanded the bivalent COVID-19 vaccines to include children 5 and older.(WKYT)
Published: Oct. 14, 2022 at 5:12 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD (WGEM) - The Illinois Department of Public Health is recommending parents and guardians get their children up-to-date on COVID-19 vaccines to be fully protected and avoid the severe effects of the coronavirus. IDPH Director Dr. Sameer Vohra noted Friday that flu season is already underway and Illinoisans should protect their children from the risk of serious illness by getting COVID-19 and flu vaccines.

“I was pleased to see the CDC expand updated COVID-19 vaccines to include children aged 5 to 11 years old,” Vohra said. “This expansion comes at a critical time in Illinois and across the country, as we are seeing a sharp increase in severe childhood respiratory infections resulting in a shortage of available pediatric hospital beds.”

Dr. Vohra said the updated bivalent booster shot and flu vaccine can give parents and guardians two powerful tools to protect their children from severe illness and hospitalization.

“With a surge in childhood respiratory illnesses already occurring, and the possibility of diseases like COVID-19 and the flu rising later this fall and winter, now is the best time to get these safe, effective vaccinations,” Vohra said.

IDPH is partnering with the Illinois Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics to encourage physicians and parents to ensure children are fully protected from COVID-19 and the flu. Doctors, parents, and guardians can find resources from ICAAP by clicking here.

The Illinois Department of Public Health and CDC reported Friday that there are no counties listed at high risk for COVID-19. There are now 16 counties listed at the medium-level risk for COVID. IDPH reported 10,416 new confirmed and probable cases since last Friday.

IDPH officials also announced that nearly 190,000 Illinoisans received a dose of the new bivalent COVID-19 booster shot in the past week. The department said 890,000 people in the state have been boosted with the bivalent vaccine since it was approved in early September.

The state’s daily vaccination numbers are at the highest level IDPH has reported since February, during the major Omicron surge. IDPH officials reported an average of more than 27,000 doses of the bivalent boosters were given across the state each day during the past week. The department said that is more than double the daily average of all vaccinations for most of the summer.

“Among the total eligible population, 10.5 percent have received the new booster,” said IDPH spokesman Michael Claffey. “The rate is higher among those 65 and older, at 19.8 percent of the eligible Illinois population.”

The Moderna bivalent vaccine single-dose booster is authorized for anyone 18 and older. The Pfizer bivalent vaccine is authorized for use as a single booster dose for people 12 and older.

30,908 vaccines were given over the last 24 hours. 85.9% of Illinoisans 12 and older have received at least one shot. 77.8% of those people are fully vaccinated. The 7-day rolling average for shots given is 29,602.

IDPH reported another 52 deaths over the past week. The department said 35,125 Illinoisans have died from COVID-related illness since the pandemic started.

State officials reported 1,832 new confirmed and probable cases and 14 deaths on Friday. The case rate 7-day average is now 82 per 100,000 people.

991 people are currently hospitalized for COVID-19 in Illinois. 112 people are in the ICU and 39 of those patients are on ventilators.

There are now 16 counties in yellow rated at the medium community level for COVID-19.
There are now 16 counties in yellow rated at the medium community level for COVID-19.(Illinois Department of Public Health)

Counties listed at the medium community level for COVID-19 include Adams, Champaign, Coles, Cumberland, Douglas, Franklin, Ford, Greene, Jackson, Jo Daviess, Macoupin, Montgomery, Perry, Pike, Stephenson, and Williamson.

Elderly or immunocompromised people living in areas labeled at medium-level risk for COVID-19 should wear masks in indoor places as well. The CDC said those individuals should be up-to-date on COVID-19 vaccines and get a second booster shot if eligible.

IDPH data indicated that the risk of hospitalization and severe outcomes from COVID-19 is much higher for unvaccinated people than for people who are up to date on their vaccinations. The state continues to work with pharmacies and healthcare providers to increase the inventory of various FDA-authorized treatments. IDPH reported there are over 1,200 treatment locations across the state, including all major retail pharmacies. More than 96.7% of the state’s population is within a 10-mile radius of one of these locations.

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