COVID update: Illinois reports 4,674 new cases, 12 deaths

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CHICAGO (WLS) — Illinois reported 4,674 new COVID cases and 12 new deaths Wednesday.

The Illinois Dept. of Public Health says “daily deaths reported on weekends and at the beginning of the week may be low” and “those deaths will be captured in subsequent days.”

The video from the player above is from a previous report.

There have been at least 3,687,549 total COVID cases in the state since the start of the pandemic and at least 34,712 related deaths.

RELATED | Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady tests positive for COVID-19

As of Tuesday night, 1,332 patients in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19. Of those, 139 patients were in the ICU, and 42 patients with COVID-19 were on ventilators.

The daily case rate per 100,000 population is at 28.1.

A total of 23,237,363 vaccine doses have been administered in Illinois as of Tuesday and 65.52% of the state’s population is fully vaccinated. The seven-day rolling average of vaccines administered daily is 5,940.

RELATED | US clears updated COVID boosters targeting newest omicron strain; shots could begin within days

The U.S. on Wednesday authorized its first update to COVID-19 vaccines, booster doses that target today’s most common omicron strain. Shots could begin within days.

The move by the Food and Drug Administration tweaks the recipe of shots made by Pfizer and rival Moderna that already have saved millions of lives. The hope is that the modified boosters will blunt yet another winter surge.

“You’ll see me at the front of the line,” FDA vaccine chief Dr. Peter Marks told The Associated Press shortly before his agency cleared the new doses.

Until now, COVID-19 vaccines have targeted the original coronavirus strain, even as wildly different mutants emerged. The new U.S. boosters are combination, or “bivalent,” shots. They contain half that original vaccine recipe and half protection against the newest omicron versions, called BA.4 and BA.5, that are considered the most contagious yet.

The combination aims to increase cross-protection against multiple variants.

“It really provides the broadest opportunity for protection,” Pfizer vaccine chief Annaliesa Anderson told the AP.

The updated boosters are only for people who have already had their primary vaccinations, using the original vaccines. Doses made by Pfizer and its partner BioNTech are for anyone 12 and older who’s due for a booster while Moderna’s updated shots are for adults. They’re not to be used for initial vaccinations.

There’s one more step before a fall booster campaign begins: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention must recommend who should get the additional shot. An influential CDC advisory panel will debate the evidence Thursday – including whether people at high risk from COVID-19 should go first.

The U.S. has purchased more than 170 million doses from the two companies. Pfizer said it could ship up to 15 million of those doses by the end of next week.

The Associated Press contributed to this post.

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August 31, 2022 at 02:28PM

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