COVID-19 News Update
APRIL 1st, 2022
FDA Approves A
Second Booster Dose
For ages 50+, Immunocompromised
Ages 12+ and others
Current evidence suggests some waning of protection over time against serious outcomes from COVID-19 in older and immunocompromised individuals. Based on an analysis of emerging data, a second booster dose of either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine could help increase protection levels for these higher-risk individuals,”
On March 29, 2022, the FDA authorized a second booster dose of either the Pfizer-BioNTech or the Moderna COVID-19 vaccines for all individuals over the age of 50, certain immunocompromised individuals and some recipients of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine.
Following the FDA’s recommendation, the CDC has communicated the following eligibility for an additional (2nd) booster:
- Individuals ages 50 years and older may receive a second booster dose using an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna) at least 4 months after their first booster dose
- Individuals ages 12- 17 with immunocompromised conditions may receive a second booster dose of Pfizer vaccine at least 4 months after receiving their first booster dose
- Individuals ages 18 years and older with immunocompromised conditions may receive a second booster dose using an mRNA COVID-19 (Moderna or Pfizer) vaccine at least 4 months after the first booster dose
- Individuals ages 18 – 49, who received Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine as both their primary series dose and booster dose may receive a second booster dose using an mRNA COVID-19 (Pfizer or Moderna) vaccine at least 4 months after receiving the first Janssen booster dose
Only Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have been approved as 2nd booster doses. This FDA action does not change the recommendations for booster doses for other age groups. The FDA reports no safety concerns based on the data and evidence presented. More information on this additional booster dose can be found here.
The Will County Health Department will be begin administering 2nd booster doses at its Joliet COVID-19 vaccination clinic on Tuesday, April 5th. The WCHD COVID-19 vaccination clinic is located at 501 Ella Ave, Joliet and is open on Tuesdays from 9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. Scheduling appointments for any COVID-19 vaccine can be done through our website or by contacting the call center at (815) 774-7386 The updated CDC COVID-19 vaccination schedule and a link to vaccination appointments at the WCHD clinic can be found below and on our website.
COVID-19 NEWS BRIEFS
Most Recent Variant
The incidence of the newest Omicron variant is raising concern about future COVID-19 outbreaks in the United States. Over the past several weeks, Omicron BA.2 has been identified as the source in a spike of COVID-19 cases in England and Germany. Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, reports that this variant is more transmissable than the previous variant and the United States will likely see an increase in cases in the next week or two as historically throughout the pandemic, cases in the United States have lagged behind England by several weeks.
Despite an expected uptick in cases, this variant does not appear to be any more severe so a surge that cripples the healthcare system is doubtful. Dr. Fauci anticipates that vaccine immunity and immunity due to prior infection, will likely contribute to less severe outcomes but the best defense against this and future variants is for the unvaccinated to get vaccinated and others to remain up-to-date with all recommended doses.
According to the CDC Data Tracker, Omicron BA.2 accounts for upwards of 50% of current COVID-19 cases throughout the United States including the midwest region of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Ohio.
Newsletter distribution changed to monthly
As previously announced, we have begun the transition from COVID-19 driven activities to our usual duties and service to Will County residents. With that, this weekly newsletter which was created as a vehicle to deliver vital COVID-19 information to our Will County residents, will become a monthly edition.
We will continue to deliver important COVID-19 information through the Will County Health Department website at https://willcountyhealth.org/covid-19/. Vital COVID-19 information can also be found at COVID.gov, a new COVID-19 website from the Department of Health and Human Services.
APRIL IS NATIONAL MINORITY HEALTH MONTH!
Every April, the HHS Office of Minority Health (OMH) observes National Minority Health Month to highlight the importance of improving the health of racial and ethnic minorities and reducing health disparities. This year’s theme is “Give Your Community a Boost!”
Beginning April 1, 2022, the WCHD COVID-19 vaccination clinic will be open as follows:
Tuesdays: 9:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
501 Ella Ave., Joliet, IL 60433
OUR HOURS HAVE CHANGED BUT WE ARE STILL HERE FOR YOUR COVID-19 VACCINE
Over the past two years, COVID-19 has understandably overshadowed the operations of the Will County Health Department. During this time, all the functions of our health department continued to operate, although in a modified manner; in person visits may have been replaced with a phone call or video connection. Picking up supplies or documents may have been completed with a quick hand-off.
As we monitor the declining COVID-19 community levels with both excitement and caution, we eagerly prepare to return to our usual duties and service to Will County residents, without the cloud of COVID-19 directing our decisions and actions.
This upcoming change shifts our attention from COVID-19 to directing our resources based on the needs of the county and the WCHD strategic plan. Some initial changes will include:
- Reshaping the WCHD website to create comfortable and easy access to useful WCHD resources.
- An end to the WCHD COVID-19 mass vaccination clinics.
- Transitioning COVID-19 needs such as immunization (vaccinations) and contact tracing into existing WCHD departments.
- Specifically, we will be closing our current WCHD COVID-19 clinics sometime in April, however, we will continue to offer COVID-19 vaccinations by appointment through our immunization department and community health center.
- Encouraging the residents of Will County to utilize the vast resources available within the health department.
- An invitation to visit and witness the usefulness and function of our new building that the residents of Will County have provided.
- An updated resource guide, available in English and Spanish, outlining WCHD programs and services and including how to access services.
A silver lining from this pandemic is that the awareness of public health has been revived. In her opening letter for the 2020 Annual Report, Will County Health Department Executive Director, Susan Olenek stated, “this past year has put public health at the forefront of our lives. Recommendations public health has been making for decades are now common mantras.” Over the past two years, our relationship with county residents has been greatly expanded. We encourage individuals to maintain that connection for the benefit of their health and that of the greater Will County community.
MISSION OF THE WILL COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT
To prevent disease and promote a healthier environment for all residents, business operators, and visitors. Our agency of professionally trained staff work cohesively to assure public health and safety measures are maintained through services and programs the department provides based on the needs of the community.
ROLES WITHIN THE LOCAL HEALTH DEPARTMENT
Source: National Association of County and City Health Officials
Secure Your Vaccination Card
How important is your vaccination card? It is part of your medical record. It may be needed to travel and to gain entry into businesses or social venues. It may be required for your employment record. Keep it in a secure and accessible place as you would your state ID. Bring it with you when getting any additional COVID-19 vaccinations so it can be updated.
Want your vaccination record on your smartphone? The Vax Verify immunization portal now offers the SMART™ Health Card. The SMART™ Health Card allows users to download a QR code and access your vaccination record from your Smartphone.
Over 65% of the population in Will County Are Fully Vaccinated!
County Level COVID-19 Risk Metrics
Hospital Resource and COVID Patient Data
Vaccinations By Zip Code
County Level COVID-19 Community Transmission Data
Cases: 7 Day Total
Cases: Total Per 100K
Total number of vaccines administered
Total complete doses
of population fully vaccinated
Fully Vaccinated by Race/Ethnicity
- 47,915 4.14% 4.14%
- 97,944 8.49% 8.49%
- 776,936 67.3% 67.3%
- 230,878 20% 20%
- 614,586 53.3% 53.3%
- 537,579 46.6% 46.6%
FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK FOR DAILY VACCINE CLINIC UPDATES
An easy way to stay updated on vaccine clinic hours and availability of appointments is to follow the Will County Health Department on Facebook. We post each morning the locations that are open that day for appointments and walk-ins.