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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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Delta dimming? Pritzker ‘hopeful’ Illinois’ surge could be peaking — but warns not to ‘jump the gun’

The numbers are still troubling compared to early summer, when most metrics had fallen to pandemic lows. Illinois has logged an average of more than 4,000 new cases each day over the last week, including 4,871 on Tuesday. "We all watch the numbers very closely, and when they start to flatten out, that’s always good news," Pritzker said.

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Judge reverses order that had barred unvaccinated mom from seeing son

Judge James Shapiro has questioned other parents about their vaccination status in previous hearings, the Sun-Times has learned.

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A vaccine requirement for students? Lightfoot says it’s ‘premature’ even as Fauci gives support

Illinois already requires proof of vaccination against more than 10 diseases as a condition of enrollment. Will a COVID-19 shot be added to the list?

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Vaxed out? Final $1 million prizes handed out, closing out ‘All in for the Win’ vaccine lottery

The prizes were among the final winnings announced Friday as part of the state’s effort to get more COVID-19 vaccine shots into arms.

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State’s daily COVID-19 caseload soars the highest since early winter, ICUs 84% full

The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 4,942 new coronavirus infections on Friday, topping last Friday’s 4,904, which had been the highest since Jan. 23.

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Pritzker to order indoor masking for all 2 and up, plus mandatory vaccine for educators from kindergarten to college

The governor plans to make the announcement Thursday morning, just two days after he sidestepped questions about extending a vaccine mandate to all state workers.

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Pritzker not expanding COVID-19 vaccine mandate, but warns of ‘significantly greater mitigations’ if hospitals fill up

A day after Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced she was planning a vaccine mandate for all city workers, Gov. J.B. Pritzker stopped short of extending his more limited requirement to all state employees.

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Vaccine mandates at Chicago businesses get shot in arm with FDA announcement

A hurdle that stopped some businesses from requiring inoculations was erased Monday when the FDA took the Pfizer vaccine off "emergency use authorization" and granted it full approval.

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Illinois COVID-19 cases hit seven-month high: ‘We are living in a very dangerous moment’

About 63% of eligible Chicagoans are fully vaccinated, but rates hover in the 20% range in many southern Illinois counties where hospitals are filling up. A total of 126 Illinois lives were lost to the virus over the last week, including 46 on Wednesday — the highest one-day toll in three months.

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COVID-19 booster shots recommended for all, could begin Sept. 20, U.S. health officials say

The plan, spurred by the spread of the Delta variant, calls for an extra dose eight months after people get their second shot of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.

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About-face? City announces return to indoor mask mandate starting Friday

The requirement applies to anyone age 2 or older, regardless of vaccination status, in indoor public settings.

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Chicago pharmacist charged with selling authentic COVID-19 vaccine cards on eBay

Tangtang Zhao sold 125 of those cards to 11 buyers for a total of more than $1,200, according to prosecutors.

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Booster shots to be urged for all Americans eight months after initial full COVID-19 vaccination, sources tell AP

An announcement on the U.S. booster recommendation was expected as soon as this week, according to two people familiar with the matter. Doses would only begin to be administered widely once the Food and Drug Administration formally approves the vaccines.

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Two more Chicagoans, one suburbanite win $100,000 vaccine lottery prizes ahead of next week’s $1 million jackpots

Monday’s drawing was the eighth in the lottery and the last before the state awards the two final $1 million jackpots to two vaccinated state residents and also doles out the remaining $150,000 scholarships to 17 vaccinated kids on Aug. 26. The deadline to be vaccinated in time for that final drawing is Wednesday.

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As more places demand COVID vaccination proof, here’s everything you need to know

The rules often vary. What some businesses are requiring, how to navigate this — including how to get a card from Northwestern Medicine, which initially didn’t provide them.

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Vax to school special: CPS mandates COVID-19 vaccination for teachers, all other district employees

About 78% of CPS employees have already gotten a shot or scheduled one, and 67% are fully vaccinated, officials said.

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US to allow booster COVID shots for immune-compromised adults

The Food and Drug Administration ruled that transplant recipients and other similarly immune-compromised patients can get a third dose of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.

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Delta spurs spike in vaccinations — but even more so in COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations and deaths

The state’s daily shot average has almost doubled since early July — but cases have multiplied by 10 since then.

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Companies should require workers get vaccinated, Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce says

"Businesses are in a unique position to help change the direction of the pandemic," says the group’s leader, Jack Lavin.

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Illinois now a red state? COVID-19 cases hit four-month high as much of state slips into CDC’s red ‘high risk’ category

The state is now averaging nearly 3,000 new COVID-19 diagnoses each day, a rate that has multiplied by eight since the first week of July. 

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Wisconsin, Indiana back on Chicago’s COVID-19 travel advisory list as Delta flares nationwide

Illinois’ neighbor to the north finds itself back on the city’s list for the first time since mid-April — just in time for the Wisconsin State Fair, a regular draw for Chicagoans to the Milwaukee suburbs. 

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Pair of vax? Two lucky Chicagoans among latest $100,000 winners in state vaccine lottery

It’s the first time since the state launched the "All in for the Win" lottery in July that two of the three weekly $100,00 winners were Chicagoans — although city residents have been lucky overall.

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Delta turns deadly: Illinois COVID-19 deaths jump 64% in a week

Illinois public health officials reported 64 coronavirus deaths over the past week, compared to 39 fatal cases logged a week earlier. The sharp 64% rise comes just a month after the state reported its first day without a single COVID-19 fatality in nearly 16 months.

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Delta blues: Variant’s spread across Illinois sparks COVID-19 infection rate rivaling days when few were vaccinated

"Turn on the TV and look what’s happening in Florida and Texas and a couple other states, even Missouri, and you can see that if you don’t take action, if you’re not acting swiftly to keep people protected in ways that you know are effective, then you’re going to fill up the hospital beds," Gov. J.B. Pritzker said.

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Relax on the extra vax? Experts expect COVID-19 booster shots ‘sooner rather than later’ — but not yet: What you need to know

While all three approved vaccines are still considered highly effective against Delta, local experts say it’s only a matter of time before people will need another dose — it’s just too soon to say when.

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Chicago has no plans yet for vaccine mandate for restaurants and gyms, Arwady says, but city is watching New York closely

While the Big Apple tightens restrictions, Chicago is counting on getting more residents vaccinated and trusting them to mask up indoors as the Delta variant of COVID-19 drives the latest nationwide surge.

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Vaccinated Schaumburg resident wins $100,000 — but no Chicagoan gets shot at jackpot this week

Chicagoans have been lucky over the past four weeks. A city resident was chosen for the only $1 million jackpot to be awarded so far. Last Monday’s drawing for $100,000 prizes was the only other one with no Chicago winner.

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Illinois COVID-19 hospitalizations jump 35% in a week, Chicago embraces indoor masking guidelines: ‘This isn’t forever’

Daily case numbers have reached the highest levels seen in three months, and hospitals are beginning to feel the brunt of that exponential increase.

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Dig out the masks: Indoor face coverings now recommended in Cook County as COVID-19 cases keep rising

The CDC is now recommending masks to be worn indoors in 84 of the state’s 102 counties — including Cook, DuPage, McHenry and Will.

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Masks required in Illinois driver’s license facilities starting next week as COVID-19 infections hit 12-week high

Face coverings will also be required in the Illinois State Capitol Building as COVID-19 cases jump across the nation.

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Lollapalooking good? Despite case spike, Chicago in ‘good control’ heading into music festival, city’s top doc says

"I don’t want there to be unnecessary panic at this point. I just want to make sure people get vaccinated," Chicago Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said.

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Masks? Again? New CDC guidelines urge covered faces in some suburbs, but Chicago still considered ‘lower risk’

New masking guidelines laid out Tuesday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention added the latest web of regulations for Illinois residents to follow, varying county by county. And masks are also now recommended for anyone inside schools.