December 05, 2022

IDPH director endorses COVID-19 bivalent vaccine as state sees increase in severe childhood respiratory infections

Almost 900,000 people in Illinois have received their bivalent booster

The latest COVID-19 community transmission levels as of Friday, October 14, from the Illinois Department of Public Health

The Illinois Department of Public Health announced Friday that for the third straight week, zero counties in the state are considered “high” risk for COVID-19, while 16 counties are at the “medium” risk level, an increase of two from last week.

In counties at the Medium Community Level, persons who are elderly or immunocompromised (at risk of severe outcomes) are advised to wear a mask in indoor public places. They should also get up to date on COVID-19 vaccines or get their bivalent booster, if eligible.

IDPH announced its endorsement of the COVID-19 bivalent booster vaccine for children 5-11 years old on Friday as well.

“I was pleased to see the CDC expand updated COVID-19 vaccines to include children aged 5 to 11 years old,” IDPH Director Dr. Sameer Vohra said in a news release. “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. The updated bivalent COVID-19 booster, along with the flu vaccine, give parents 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.”

More than 890,000 Illinoisans have received a dose of the new, bivalent COVID-19 vaccines since they were approved for use in early September, including almost 190,000 doses in the last week. Daily vaccination numbers are at the highest level seen since early February, during the major surge in illnesses caused by the Omicron variant.

The IDPH announced 1,832 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 and 14 additional deaths Friday.

As of late Thursday, Illinois had 991 COVID-19 patients in the hospital. Of those, 112 were in intensive care units, and 39 were on ventilators.

For Thursday, the state administered 30,908 vaccines.

From the IDPH’s data dashboard:

Case rate per 100,000: 11.7 (down 0.1 from Thursday)

Percentage of ICU beds available: 20%

COVID-19-diagnosed hospital admissions (seven-day rolling average): 62 (up 27 from Thursday)

Weekly deaths reported: 52 (down 10 from a week ago)

Illinois has seen 3,784,083 total cases of the virus, and 35,125 people have died.

County-by-county update: As of mid-April, the IDPH will provide a county-by-county update focusing on the case rate per 100,000 people, the percentage of ICU beds available, a rolling seven-day average of COVID-19-diagnosed hospital admissions and weekly deaths.

The definition of a COVID-19-diagnosed hospital admission is as follows: the seven-day average of daily number of hospital admissions given a diagnosis of COVID-19 as measured using the Illinois Syndromic Surveillance System.

Illinois collects all emergency department and inpatient visits through syndromic surveillance from all acute care hospitals in Illinois in near-real time. Data is presented with a three-day lag to allow time for diagnosis to be reported.

CountyCase Rate/100,000% available ICU bedsCOVID-19 diagnosed hospital admissions
(7-day rolling average)
La Salle10.72211

Vaccine update: As of Friday, the IDPH reported a total of 29,575,575 doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been distributed statewide, with 24,240,966 vaccines administered.

As of Friday, 8,377,823 Illinoisans have been fully vaccinated, or 65.75% of the population. Illinois has a population of 12,741,080 people.

CDC numbers:

Among Illinois residents 5 and older:

Fully Vaccinated: 8,869,821 (74.4%)

At Least 1 Dose: 9,805,421 (82.2%)

Among Illinois residents 12 and older:

Fully Vaccinated: 8,428,943 (77.8%)

At Least 1 Dose: 9,307,448 (85.9%)

Among Illinois residents 18 and older:

Fully Vaccinated: 7,776,603 (78.9%)

At Least 1 Dose: 8,593,344 (87.2%)

Among Illinois residents 65 and older:

Fully Vaccinated: 1,845,354 (90.3%)

At Least 1 Dose: 1,994,743 (95%)

There can be as much as a 72-hour delay in reporting from health care providers on vaccines administered.

In northern Illinois, here is the percentage of the population fully vaccinated by county:

Chicago: 69.34%

Suburban Cook: 73.38%

Lake: 71.14%

McHenry: 66.43%

DuPage: 76.10%

Kane: 66.99%

Will: 67.26%

Kendall: 70.18%

La Salle: 58.77%

Grundy: 58.13%

DeKalb: 56.85%

Ogle: 57.25%

Lee: 59.23%

Whiteside: 52.14%

Bureau: 57.08%

John Sahly

John Sahly

John Sahly is the digital editor for the Shaw Media Local News Network. He has been with Shaw Media since 2008, previously serving as the Northwest Herald's digital editor, and the Daily Chronicle sports editor and sports reporter.