COVID-19 News Update
JuLY 1st, 2022
FDA and CDC APPROVE COVID-19 VACCINE FOR CHILDREN 6 MONTHS – 4 YEARS
On June 17, 2022, the FDA approved a COVID-19 vaccine for children as young as 6 months, making COVID-19 vaccination accessible to approximately 20 million more children. The agencies approved a 3-dose vaccine from Pfizer BioNTech and a 2-dose vaccine from Moderna.
Vaccination approval for this age group was hailed as the COVID-19 virus and its subvariants are now more transmissible than measles, one of the world’s most contagious diseases. While children are less likely to be affected by COVID-19 the CDC estimates that approximately 1200 children have died from the virus and many more hospitalized especially during the Omicron surge in early 2022. According to Ruth Karon, PhD from the Johns-Hopkins Center for Immunization Research, “It is likely that everyone will eventually become infected.” With approximately 20 million children in this age group, vaccination will prevent many children from severe outcomes.
The Will County Health Department held a vaccine clinic for this age group on June 23rd and vaccinated 161 children. Future vaccinations for all ages will be available from the Will County Health Department’s Immunization Clinic at 501 Ella Ave., Joliet. Appointments can be made by calling 815-740-8143.
For more vaccination locations, click here for a list of our community vaccine health partners. Please note, some locations may not vaccinate children younger than three years.
Moderna adds a vaccine for ages 6 – 17
Also on June 17, the FDA and CDC approved a Moderna vaccine for the vaccination of children ages 6 years to 17. Previously, the Moderna vaccine was only approved for ages 18 years and older.
Additional information on the FDA’s recent vaccine review can be found here.
A booster dose is recommended for all individuals ages 5 years and older
“It is likely that everyone will eventually become infected.”
“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.”
GET VACCINATED. GET BOOSTED
Two new Omicron variants, BA.5 and BA.5, represent over 30% of the COVID-19 cases in the Midwest Region. Into the third year of this pandemic, scientific evidence still supports that vaccination is the best way to avoid severe outcomes of COVID-19 infection. Don’t delay, call us at 815-740-8143 to schedule your appointment.
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 calling our customer service number at 815-774-7386.
Effective 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, 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:
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.
Lost or misplaced your card? Click here.
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 June 26)
Cases: Total Per 100K (through June 23)
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)
- 66,090 52.5% 52.5%
- 312,114 72.1% 72.1%
- 83,082 88.9% 88.9%
- 217,362 63.3% 63.3%
- 243,352 69.7% 69.7%