COVID-19 News Update
June 1st, 2022
FDA Approves Booster Dose for Children Ages 5 – 11
“A booster shot is meant to increase levels of immune responses after these have naturally waned. A booster tricks the immune system into thinking that it is again seeing a pathogen, so antibody producing cells, and other immune cells, are recalled into gear.”
Only 52% of fully vaccinated individuals have received a booster dose
BOOSTER DOSES STRONGLY ADVISED
In Will County, 68% of residents are fully vaccinated, however, only 52% of fully vaccinated individuals have received a booster dose. Congratulations to our 65 and older residents who are 90.8% fully vaccinated and 78.7% boosted! Read more about booster doses below.
WHAT IS A BOOSTER?
DO I NEED A BOOSTER?
Vaccine-induced immunity against some viruses such as measles and polio, is lifelong. However, immunity against other viruses such as tetanus, COVID-19 and other cold and flu viruses becomes less effective over time and a booster vaccine is necessary to maintain protection.
Data accumulated throughout this pandemic demonstrates that COVID-19 vaccines are effective at preventing death and minimizing the severity of the illness. Recent studies show that COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness and natural immunity acquired from contracting COVID-19, diminishes over time. As a result, COVID-19 booster doses were introduced. Jonathan Abraham, a microbiology professor at Harvard Medical School conveyed, “A booster shot is meant to increase levels of immune responses after these have naturally waned. A booster tricks the immune system into thinking that it is again seeing a pathogen, so antibody producing cells, and other immune cells, are recalled into gear.”
WHY DO I NEED A BOOSTER?
WHEN SHOULD I GET A BOOSTER?
The COVID-19 vaccination for essential workers and individuals 65 and older began 15 months ago. The vaccination rush for the general public occurred from April – July of 2021, already passing a one-year mark for some, nearing the annual marker for others. The effectiveness of these primary doses have lessened over time and individuals risk more severe outcomes if they contract COVID-19. Booster doses have proven effective against the very transmissible Omicron variant.
For individuals 5 years and older, first booster doses can be received five months after receiving the primary, 2-dose vaccination.
For individuals who are immunocompromised, the vaccination schedule including booster doses are different. Immunocompromised individuals receive a 3-dose primary series and may be eligible for a booster dose three to five months after receiving the primary, 3-dose vaccination, depending on age. More information can be found here.
WHERE CAN I GET MY BOOSTER DOSE
Will County Health Department will continue its Tuesday vaccine clinic for all COVID-19 doses and manufacturers through June 21 at the health department building at 501 Ella Ave., Joliet. Appointments can be made by clicking here or calling our customer service number at 815-774-7386.
Beginning June 27th, 2022, COVID-19 vaccination appointments will only be available through the Will County Immunizations Department at 501 Ella Ave., Joliet. COVID-19 vaccination appointments can be scheduled Monday, Tuesday, and Friday from 8:30am-4:30pm and Wednesday 10am-6pm. To schedule an appointment for June 27th or later, please call please call 815-740-8143.
2ND BOOSTER DOSE?
As time continues to pass between doses and effectiveness lessens, a second booster is suggested for certain individuals. Individuals 50 years and older and those 12 years and older with immunocompromised conditions are eligible for a 2nd booster dose. The second booster can be received 4 months after receiving the first booster dose.
You can read more about booster vaccinations by clicking on the links below:
Keep COVID-19 Away!
THE NUMBER OF COVID-19 CASES THROUGHOUT THE NATION, OUR STATE AND IN WILL COUNTY CONTINUE TO INCREASE
As of May 31, 2022, the Will County, COVID-19 case rate per 100,000 is 289.11, up 65% from just 4 weeks ago. Across the nation, the 7-day rolling average of new cases has increased approximately 18% from the previous week’s average.
Consider wearing your mask when in public places and be conscientious of physical distancing. Both practices have been proven to be effective in preventing transmission of COVID-19.
If you need any of your COVID-19 vaccination doses, contact us at 815-774-7386 to schedule an appointment at the Will County Health Department in Joliet or help you find a vaccine provider convenient to you.
COVID-19 DATA BRIEFS
American Academy of Pediatrics Urges Vaccination for Children
Throughout the pandemic, children have been less susceptible to COVID-19 and generally have more mild cases. However, that has changed with the Omicron variant. The data briefs below from the American Academy of Pediatrics illustrate why COVID-19 vaccinations for children are important as they may affect long term, physical and emotional health.
Source: American Academy of Pediatrics
Over 11 million children have been infected with COVID-19 since the pandemic’s onset.
More than 35,000 children have been hospitalized and at least 1,225 children aged 18 and younger have died.
Over 7,500 patients met the case definition for multi-system inflammatory syndrome in children, and there have been 66 deaths among these patients.
Patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection had 16-18 times higher risk for myocarditis compared with patients without SARS-CoV-2.
18 Years & Younger
Studies show that children and adolescents aged 18 years and younger with COVID-19 were more likely to receive a new diabetes diagnosis.
Between April 1, 2020, through June 30, 2021, over 140,000 children in the US experienced the death of a parent or grandparent caregiver. The risk of such loss was 1.1 to 4.5 times higher among children of racial and ethnic minorities, compared to Non-Hispanic White children.
24% and 31%
Compared with 2019, the proportion of mental health-related visits to the emergency room for children aged 5–11 and 12–17 years increased approximately 24% and 31%, respectively.
Vaccine effectiveness data for children
2 doses of COVID-19 vaccine is effective in preventing COVID-19-associated emergency department and urgent care encounters and hospitalizations among non-immunocompromised persons aged 5-17 years.
2 doses of COVID-19 vaccine is highly effective in preventing multi-system inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C) in adolescents aged 12-18 years; estimated effectiveness was 91%.
2 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is effective in preventing both asymptomatic and symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection with the Omicron variant among children and adolescents aged 5–15 years.
6 times higher
The risk of myocarditis in young males (12-17 years of age) following SARS-CoV-2 infection was up to 6 times higher compared to the risk of myocarditis in young males who received the mRNA vaccine (Singer et al., Risk of Myocarditis from COVID-19 Infection in People Under Age 20: A Population-Based Analysis. Prepublication; NIH and university-affiliated authors)
As of January 2022, out of over 8.5 million COVID-19 vaccines administered to children ages 5-11 years, there have been 12 reports of post-vaccine myocarditis that meet the case definition.
Current Omicron Variant
In the Illinois region, approximately 55% of new COVID-19 cases are of the BA2.12.1 variant, the 3rd Omicron variant.
This variant may be less likely to result in severe outcomes but is more transmissible and able to evade immunity whether from vaccine or natural immunity. Due to its mutation, individuals who have had a previous illness with an earlier Omicron variant, remain susceptible to acquiring COVID-19 from the BA2.12.1 variant.
Precautions such as masking and physical distancing when in public spaces is strongly encouraged.
COVID-19 Deaths in the U.S.
Recently, the United States reached a somber marker in this third year of the pandemic; over one million individuals have died from COVID-19. More than 83 million, COVID-19 cases have been documented in the U.S., approximately 3.2 million in Illinois. Astonishingly in 2021, COVID-19 was the leading cause of death in individuals between the ages of 45 and 54.
Long Term Side Effects of COVID-19 Infection Being Studied
Scientists have been gaining insight to the concern of long-COVID, a condition characterized by various symptoms that persist following infection from SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19). Common symptoms described include brain fog, heart and lung conditions, gastrointestinal problems, diminished exercise capacity, and fatigue. The conditions are reported to last anywhere from 4 weeks to 2 years but the actual longevity of these conditions will only be understood as time passes.
Below is a link to a Long-Covid discussion between Emory University epidemiologist Dr. Jodie Guest and post-covid clinic physician, Dr. Alex Truong.
Schedule Your Child’s Routine Vaccinations Now
COVID-19 has caused disruption among many of our normal routines; one of which is medical care, more specifically, childhood immunizations. UNICEF and the World Health Organization have reported that worldwide in 2020 over 23 million children did not receive their routine childhood immunizations. A potential sign of missed immunizations may be reflected in a reported 79% increase in measles cases during the first two months of this year compared to January and February of 2021. Missed childhood vaccinations can negatively impact general health among the population and disease outbreaks for years to come.
If you or your child(ren) need to get up to date with childhood vaccinations or if you are uncertain of your vaccination status, schedule an appointment with your physician or contact the Will County Health Department at 815-740-8143. We can check your records and schedule a vaccination appointment for you.
FDA and CDC Recommend Limited Use of Janssen Vaccine
The CDC has recommended that in most situations, the Pfizer or Moderna mRNA, COVID-19 vaccines are preferred for all doses due to the risk of negative outcomes from the Janssen (Johnson and Johnson) vaccine. On May 5th the FDA has announced that the known risks of potentially life-threatening side effects warrant limiting the authorized use of the vaccine. However, the FDA conveyed that in some situations, the benefits for COVID-19 vaccine prevention outweigh the potential risks if the Janssen vaccine is the only option. This may be the case if a severe reaction to an mRNA vaccine exists or an individual would otherwise remain unvaccinated.
More information can be found here.
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 (through May 30)
Cases: Total Per 100K (through May 25)
COVID Community Level
COVID Transmission Level
Total number of vaccines administered
Population Fully Vaccinated
of population fully vaccinated—meaning
received at least primary doses
Fully Vaccinated by Race/Ethnicity, Age and Gender
(meaning received at least primary doses)
- 65,732 52.2% 52.2%
- 311,424 72.0% 72.0%
- 87,880 88.7% 88.7%
- 241,377 69.2% 69.2%
- 215,438 62.7% 62.7%