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Coronavirus Vaccine News

The latest on the development and distribution of coronavirus vaccines, including when and how to get yours.

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Omicron on the horizon: COVID-19 hospitalizations hit nearly 10-month high as latest variant looms: ‘We need to be serious’

With Illinois facing its fifth surge of the pandemic even before the arrival of the Omicron variant, officials say it’s time to take extra precautions — but not yet shutter businesses or schools.

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After 18 VA patients contract COVID in hospital and 1 dies, top doc rips staff for coming to work sick, not masking

"We have committed very real harm to a large number of patients this week," Dr. Sarah Unterman, chief of staff for the hospital, said in a memo excoriating the "horrific and disturbing" situation.

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Marine Academy official removed after sending anti-vax email to families

Commandant Larry Kaifesh was "spreading false information about vaccines, which is just contrary to everything Dr. [Allison] Arwady and I have been preaching and speaking about," CPS CEO Pedro Martinez said Tuesday.

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Less than 13% of CPS students under 12 vaccinated so far, officials say

While shots have only been approved for younger children for a few weeks, less than half of CPS students aged 12 and up have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

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City officials, ‘prepared to take action’ after discovery of omicron variant, urge more people to get vaccinated

The latest variant identified in South Africa should encourage more people to get vaccinated against COVID-19, city officials said.

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City hits vaccination rate goal of 77% for residents 12 or older

The city reached that goal a month early, but many neighborhoods on the South and West sides still lag behind.

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CPS to families traveling for Thanksgiving: Unvaccinated kids must quarantine

The district says that kids who haven’t gotten their COVID-19 shots and who travel out of state to areas with high transmission must isolate for seven days upon their return.

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City officials say Chicago will reach 77% vaccination rate by the week’s end

A large swath of the population remains unvaccinated. As of Nov. 18, 51.6% of Black residents have received at least one vaccine dose, according to the Chicago Department of Public Health. Among Latinos, the rate was 61.6%.

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Cold weather, cold facts: COVID-19 spreading across Illinois, bringing worst daily caseload this fall

The weekly caseload is a 25% increase over last week’s seven-day total, marking the third consecutive week to see rising cases. Public health experts are concerned, but not surprised since winter is approaching, forcing people to retreat inside, often without masks.

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COVID booster shots are now available to all adults: What you need to know

Anyone 18 and already vaccinated can now get a booster shot for added protection under an emergency order.

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US opens COVID boosters to all adults, urges them for anyone 50 and older

Under the new rules, anyone 18 or older can choose either a Pfizer or Moderna booster six months after their last dose. For anyone who got the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, the wait already was just two months. And people can mix-and-match boosters from any company.

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Illinois suffers highest COVID-19 caseload in two months, spikes in hospitalizations, positivity, deaths: ‘We are in a surge’

Cases have jumped nearly 30% statewide over the past week, including an 18% spike in Chicago.

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CPS pushes shots with new data showing unvaxxed Chicago teens are 7-10 times more likely to get COVID

Chicago Public Schools CEO Pedro Martinez said the district needed to act as a connector, helping families sign their school-aged children up for the vaccine through community providers.

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Surge protectors? Experts urge vaccinations as state’s climbing COVID-19 cases spark concerns of ‘yet another wave’

The state logged 22,600 new cases of the deadly virus over the past week. The numbers, reported by the Illinois Department of Public Health on Friday, represent an increase of 29% over the seven-day caseload reported a week ago.

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City Colleges to offer tours on Vaccine Awareness Day, shots starting Nov. 13

All seven CCC campuses will host free tours Friday for prospective students and their families. And later this month school clinics will offer vaccines for people of all ages.

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Illinois COVID-19 cases top 5,000 for first time in two months — and it’s time to get vaccinated ‘right now,’ officials say

Average daily cases have shot up in Chicago by 24% since last week, underscoring the importance of getting vaccinated, officials say.

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City officials push ‘Vaccination Awareness Day’ as COVID-19 cases rise again

"If we can get a lot of students vaccinated now, if we can get a lot of adults vaccinated and boosted ahead of the holidays, right now is the time to do that," Chicago Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said.

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Pritzker signs ban on using moral objections to avoid ‘life-saving’ COVID-19 requirements — but GOP rivals blast more ‘tyrannical rule’

The governor contends some have been improperly skirting COVID-19 requirements by using a 1998 law designed to protect health care providers who refuse to perform medical procedures — such as abortions — that they’re opposed to. But GOP rivals denounced the Democratic governor as a "despot" signing "scary legislation."

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Fall back? Illinois COVID-19 cases up nearly 20% as temperatures drop and people head indoors

Cases had been falling for more than a month, but public health experts say more time indoors means more opportunity for the coronavirus to spread.

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CPS cancels all classes Nov. 12 for ‘Vaccine Awareness Day’

The district gave parents just over a week’s notice of the day off that officials hope will lead more students to get vaccinated.

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Cook County Health to begin vaccinating kids 5 through 11 starting Friday

Patients can walk in to any Cook County Health site for a shot for a child, or make an appointment at (833) 308-1988.

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Pilsen residents launch GoFundMe to help longtime paletero

The money that’s raised will help pay ice cream seller Dan Ananias Ocampo’s $500-per-month rent in the small room he’s lived in for the better part of a year and for a health care worker to check in on him twice a week.

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Chicago kids ages 5-11 line up for COVID-19 vaccine: ‘It’s important because I don’t want to get anyone sick and I don’t want to get sick’

Clinics started administering shots Wednesday after the federal government signed off on the Pfizer vaccine Tuesday.

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Let the junior jabs begin: U.S. gives final OK for kids 5-11 to get Pfizer vaccine

CDC approval clears final hurdle for kids to receive COVID-19 shots in reduced doses.

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Face facts: Mask mandate stays till COVID-19 hospitalizations fall, Pritzker says after getting booster shot

The state’s COVID-19 numbers have improved, but not enough to make the governor consider rescinding his statewide indoor mask mandate, Pritzker said after receiving a Pfizer booster shot on the Near West Side.

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Close, but not too close: Vaccines will make for a merrier 2021 holiday season — but a little air and space are also advised

A year after recommending everyone stay home for the holidays, officials still say gatherings should be kept small. And keep the buffet line moving. Guests shouldn’t be congregating closely together in the kitchen or other tight spaces.

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Some Americans may need to get 4th COVID shot

The fourth shot should be received at least six months after the third, the CDC said. The CDC does not consider the third shots now being approved for Moderna and Pfizer vaccines as boosters.

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Move to bar moral exemptions for refusing COVID-19 vaccine sparks concerns, obscenities, threats

Lawmakers serving on the House’s Executive Committee engaged in a heated back and forth during the hearing on the proposed amendment to the 1998 Health Care Right of Conscience Act.

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Pritzker rolls out plan for vaccinating children ages 5 to 11, expecting shipment of nearly half a million ‘kid-sized doses’

Illinois will receive a "robust supply right from the start," Pritzker said. The state is expected receive an initial allotment around 306,000 doses, with an additional 73,000 doses for the City of Chicago. Another roughly 100,000 doses will head to the federal government’s pharmacy partners in Illinois.

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Following one’s conscience or ‘fringe elements?’ State seeks to bar moral exemptions for COVID-19 vaccine refusal

The amendment to the state’s Health Care Right of Conscience Act is intended to make clear that public officials and private companies can impose COVID-19 requirements as a condition of employment — and fire those who refuse to comply.

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State day care workers get vaccine mandate to protect ‘babies, toddlers, and young children not yet eligible for the vaccine’

The mandate comes as the Illinois Department of Public Health reported the lowest number of people hospitalized for COVID-19 in nearly three months and a continued possible flattening of the overall caseload.

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21 Chicago cops in no-pay status after refusing to tell city if they are vaccinated

Of the 67.7% of police officers and civilians entered into the city’s online health portal, 82% are vaccinated, Chicago Police Supt. David Brown said Tuesday.

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She never planned to get vaccinated. Seeing other pregnant women die from COVID changed her mind.

Only a third of pregnant women are fully vaccinated, according to recent CDC data, despite having a higher risk of severe illness if they contract the virus.

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Another COVID-19 Halloween: Officials urge trick-or-treating caution as statewide numbers improve

"Although we’re still in the pandemic, this Halloween and fall festivities season will look a little different than last year thanks to the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines that are readily available," Illinois Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said.

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FOP president urges police officers to ignore city mandate to report vaccination status — predicts 50% cut in cops on street

FOP President John Catanzara instructed rank-and-file officers to report to work Friday and be sent home for not having reported their vaccine status. Asked to respond, a mayoral spokesperson said they would have "no statement."

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Medical group says businesses can go mask optional if employees are 100% vaccinated

The Chicago Medical Society is recommending eased masking requirements for businesses who can control whether only vaccinated people are allowed inside.