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Health

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City’s new vaccination plan aims to vaccinate 77% of all residents by year’s end

The Protect Chicago 77 vaccination initiative draws its name from the city’s 77 official community areas.

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US sets stage for COVID booster shots

Advisers to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said boosters should be offered to people 65 and older, nursing home residents and those ages 50 to 64 who have risky underlying health problems.

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New Medicare online tool lets you check nursing home COVID vaccination data

It comes acted after complaints about how hard it was to find that information on Medicare.gov. Until now, one way to do that had required accessing a huge spreadsheet.

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Biden doubles US global donation of COVID-19 vaccine shots

The stepped-up U.S. commitment marks the cornerstone of the global vaccination summit President Joe Biden convened virtually on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly, where he encouraged well-off nations to do more to get the coronavirus under control.

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Health officials want parents to ask themselves: ER or pediatrician?

A common virus, not COVID-19, is driving a jump in visits to emergency rooms at Chicago children’s hospitals.

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Like being stabbed all the time

Living with sickle cell disease is hard, but possible

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US panel backs COVID-19 boosters only for elderly, high-risk

But the federal advisory panel overwhelmingly rejected a plan to give Pfizer COVID-19 booster shots to the rest of Americans.

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Chicagoans rally against Texas abortion law

Organized by Planned Parenthood Illinois Action, the "Bans Off My Body" rally in Federal Plaza attracted about 20 anti-abortion counter-protesters.

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City should require vaccine proof for patrons of restaurants, bars, theaters, gyms, music venues, aldermen say

Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady have encouraged various businesses to require proof of vaccination, but they haven’t followed New York City in imposing a citywide requirement.

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Angry QAnon backers want hospital to treat supporter’s COVID-19 with unapproved drug

QAnon supporters have in recent days targeted Amita Resurrection Medical Center with a protest and a flood of phone calls demanding that doctors give a hospitalized ally ivermectin.

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Chicago doctors battle COVID vaccine misinformation: No, the shot won’t make you infertile, and other myths

It’s a race against time to get the vast majority of the population vaccinated and misinformation is causing hesitancy for getting shots.

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Power outage? Here’s what to do with refrigerated and frozen foods

A refrigerator should keep food cold for six hours and a half-full freezer for 24 hours (48 hours if the freezer is full) if you don’t open the doors.

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Americans were scared of polio vaccine too

Eager to contrast today’s anti-vax hysteria with universal joy at the polio vaccine in the ‘50s? It wasn’t that simple.

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Getting the lead out? New state law requires water suppliers to submit plans to remove lead service lines 

State Sen. Melinda Bush, a lead sponsor of the legislation, said the lines are a "health threat that not only costs us billions of dollars, but poisons our children and undermines our residents’ confidence" in their water supply.

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DuPage Medical Group notifying 600,000 patients about a data breach

"Unauthorized actors" disrupted the medical group’s computer network on July 12 and 13.

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Pritzker signs laws designed to make better care for the mentally ill the norm: ‘Mental health care is health care’

The governor signed two pieces of legislation Wednesday aimed at reaching people who may need mental health support "no matter where they live, no matter their socio-economic status."

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U.S. regulators give full approval to Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine

The vaccine made by Pfizer and its partner BioNTech now carries the strongest endorsement from the FDA, which has never before had so much evidence to judge a shot’s safety.

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NorthShore Health joins hospitals mandating vaccines; Northwestern Medicine, AMITA Health, still not

NorthShore University HealthSystem Monday joined the burgeoning list of Chicago-area hospitals now requiring vaccinations for health care workers. That means every major area health care system now has — except Northwestern Medicine and AMITA Health.

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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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Tony Bennett cancels 2021 fall, winter touring dates

Bennett, who just turned 95, teamed up with Lady Gaga for two nights at New York’s Radio City Music Hall last week. The concerts were filmed for broadcast at a later date.

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Nearly 60,000 pounds of chicken products sold at Aldi, other stores recalled for possible salmonella

Five products are included in the recall under three brand names: Dutch Farms Chicken, Milford Valley Chicken and Kirkwood, which is an Aldi store brand.

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New drug and alcohol abuse rehab center opens at Holy Cross Hospital

As opioid overdoses rise across the city, the Sinai Chicago Center for Addiction Treatment and Recovery at Holy Cross Hospital is accepting new patients.

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California to require COVID-19 vaccine or test for teachers

"We think this is the right thing to do and we think this is a sustainable way to keeping our schools open and to address the number one anxiety that parents like myself have for young children," Gov. Gavin Newsom said.

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Christina Applegate reveals she has multiple sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis — also known as MS — affects the nervous system and often results in progressive physical and cognitive decline.

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State moves toward phaseout of firefighting foam with harmful ‘forever chemicals’

Gov. Pritzker signed into law a measure that aims to reduce the use of foam containing PFAS, which have been tied to drinking water contamination and health threats.  

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‘Our first responsibility is caring for ourselves’

Burnt out? Scared? Upset at the endless COVID-19 crisis? You’re not alone, and there are things you can do.

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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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FDA OKs automatic generic swap for brand-name insulin, a move that will lower costs

The move will allow pharmacists to automatically substitute the cheaper version, just as they do with generic pills for other kinds of drugs.

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Naomi Osaka, Simone Biles bring fresh voices to the fight against stigma of mental illness

The two Olympians have the right stuff to raise awareness about mental illness. It can happen to anyone.

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Lollapalooza requiring masks for all indoor spaces Saturday and Sunday

On Friday, festival organizers issued a mask mandate for all indoor spaces.

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Dangerous ‘forever chemicals’ found in drinking water of thousands of Illinois residents

More than 100 community drinking water sources in the Chicago suburbs and around the state show contamination from harmful PFAS that can pose serious health threats, records show.

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Mayor touts $935K in restitution for workers deprived of sick leave by two food companies — one at center of Burke scandal

Tri-City Foods will pay a $100,000 fine, the largest the city has imposed for violating its labor laws. The investigation was triggered by an anonymous 311 complaint from a "brave essential worker," as Mayor Lori Lightfoot put it.