The locations, which include the United Center site that is run in conjunction with the federal government, will open up access in order to accommodate residents who dont want to or cannot schedule appointments ahead of time.
Additionally, a federal government advisory committee on vaccines met Friday to discuss the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine and said the benefits outweigh a very rare risk of blood clots. especially against a virus thats still infecting tens of thousands of Americans every day. The government will rapidly weigh that recommendation in deciding next steps.
Meanwhile, although the vast majority of Illinois students are now learning in person at least part time after more than a year of pandemic-prompted remote instruction, the surging number of kids forced into quarantine has been the latest source of disruption and frustration in the prolonged and difficult effort to reopen schools.
Heres whats happening Friday with COVID-19 in the Chicago area:
7:30 p.m. (updated): Illinois gives providers go-ahead to resume use of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine after feds lift 11-day pause
Vaccine providers in Illinois can immediately resume giving Johnson & Johnsons one-dose immunization after federal officials determined the shots benefits outweigh the risks of rare but severe blood clots, state health officials said late Friday.
The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration lifted an 11-day pause on the use of the vaccine after an advisory panel said it was safe to do so in combination with a new warning about the risk of blood clots, particularly among women under 50.
5:55 p.m. (updated): US lifts pause, allowing Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccinations to resume
U.S. health officials have lifted an 11-day pause on Johnson & Johnson vaccinations following a recommendation by an expert panel. Advisers to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday the benefits of the single-dose COVID-19 shot outweigh a rare risk of blood clots.
Panel members said its critical that younger women be told about that risk so they can decide if theyd rather choose another vaccine. The CDC and Food and Drug Administration agreed. European regulators earlier this week made a similar decision, deciding the clot risk was small enough to allow the rollout of J&Js shot.
3:59 p.m. (updated): US health panel urges restarting Johnson & Johnsons COVID-19 vaccinations after pause over rare blood clots
A U.S. health panel says its time to resume use of Johnson & Johnsons COVID-19 vaccine, despite a very rare risk of blood clots. Out of nearly 8 million people vaccinated before the U.S. suspended J&Js shot, health officials uncovered 15 cases of a highly unusual kind of blood clot, three of them fatal. All were women, most younger than 50.
But advisers to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday the vaccines benefits outweigh that serious but small risk especially against a virus thats still infecting tens of thousands of Americans every day. The government will rapidly weigh that recommendation in deciding next steps.
3:51 p.m.: COVID-19 positivity rate down but hospitalizations continue rise that started more than 5 weeks ago
An additional 136,525 coronavirus vaccinations were administered in Illinois Thursday as the state reported another slight downtick in the seven-day test positivity rate.
The latest batch of shots brought the total number of doses administered in the state to 8,610,478, public health officials reported. As of Friday, 51.58% of residents 16 and older have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine.
The number of residents who have been fully vaccinated receiving both of the required two shots, or Johnson & Johnsons one shot reached 3,648,936, or 28.64% of the total population.
3:41 p.m.: Lake Countys largest COVID-19 vaccination center opens with goal of speeding return to a new normal
A goal of Baxter, as it partners with the Lake County Health Department and Curative to operate the countys largest COVID-19 vaccination center with a capacity of administering 5,000 shots a day, is accelerating the time when residents can return to a new normal.
Dr. Sumant Ramachandra, Baxters pharmaceuticals president and its chief science and technology officer, said once a sufficient number of people are vaccinated against the disease, elements of normal life can return.
We want to help the community get to a new normal, Ramachandra said before a news conference Friday.
People will be making choices about social distancing, he added, describing the new normal. Once they get their shots, they will still be thinking about what they are doing.
3:39 p.m.: Being shot age 15 made her want to be a caregiver. As a COVID-19 nurse, shes turned to art as therapy
Nurses experienced things they could never explain.
People talking, then dead. Replacing family members by holding the hand of the dying. Losing the ability to comfort through a smile.
To process these moments, some picked up a pencil, or a paintbrush.
A new exhibit at the International Museum of Surgical Science, Nurses Relaxation and Renewal Through the Arts, features art by medical workers, including some who used artwork to process what they experienced treating COVID-19 patients. The Gold Coast museums exhibit was supposed to open last April. Scuttled because of the pandemic, it is now open through May 23.
One of the artists is Maribel Huerta. Ever since she was a trauma patient, lying in intensive care after being shot in the head at age 15, she knew she wanted to be a nurse.
2:58 p.m.: Sun shining, even a shirt off at United Center vaccination site on first day walk-ins are welcome
With city mass vaccination sites now open to walk-ins, regardless of city ZIP code or employment status, Friday marked an unofficial start of a final push to get shots into the arms of all Chicagoans.
Despite the potential for a crush of shot seekers, lines were short as the sun shone on the United Center Friday during the lunch hour. Large metal corrals set up like bank rope lines were quickly traversed and no one leaving the facility reported a visit that took longer than 25 minutes.
1:28 p.m.: The soaring number of students in quarantine is the latest obstacle for schools and sports teams trying to get back to normal
Although the vast majority of Illinois students are now learning in-person at least part-time after more than a year of pandemic-prompted remote instruction, the surging number of kids forced into quarantine has been the latest source of disruption and frustration in the prolonged and difficult effort to reopen schools.
With the shifting metric for social distancing in schools where 3 feet is now the allowable standard but exposure within 6 feet of an infected student can still result in a quarantine the ability to remain in class is sometimes a game of inches.
12:04 p.m.: 3,369 new confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases and 22 additional deaths reported
Illinois health officials on Friday announced 3,369 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 and 22 additional fatalities, bringing the total number of known infections in Illinois to 1,316,091 and the statewide death toll to 21,777 since the start of the pandemic.
Officials also reported 104,795 new tests in the last 24 hours. The statewide positivity rate for cases is 3.6%.
The 7-day daily average of administered vaccine doses is 118,741, with 136,525 doses given on Thursday. Officials also say a total of 8,610,478 vaccines have now been administered.
9:58 a.m.: Flu shots at work are routine, but company COVID-19 vaccination clinics have been hard to come by. That might be changing.
When Freedman Seating Co. heard manufacturing industry employees would be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, the company wanted to hold an event to distribute doses at work, much like it does with flu shots.
Getting access to a supply of COVID-19 shots, though, was a struggle for the Chicago-based company. Pharmacies and other companies that could administer the shots were overwhelmed with requests and wanted Freedman Seating to determine the exact number of doses needed, information the company didnt have at the time, said marketing manager John-Paul Paonessa.
Instead, the city reserved spots for the company at mass vaccination sites and employees helped colleagues navigate the registration process. About half of 630 employees have been vaccinated, but Freedman Seating still pursued a clinic vaccination event on-site and recently scheduled one for about 100 employees in early May, Paonessa said.
The more people who are vaccinated, the more comfortable employees may feel returning to some sort of normalcy, he said.
As easy as we can make it, thats what were looking for, he said.
7:15 a.m.: Indianas Lake County Fair to be as traditional as possible this summer
Last year, the Lake County, Ind., Fair had to be canceled because of COVID-19. This year, Tom Lump said he hopes it can be done as normal.
Lump, the president of the Lake County Fair, said as of right now, the fair will continue as it was before the pandemic, though its always possible things could change.
Were pretty much planning it to be as traditional as possible, Lump said of the planned 169th edition of the fair. We dont want to throw too much at our fairgoers. There may be a requirement to wear masks, we dont know, there may be a requirement to have more hand sanitizers, we dont know that either Were hopeful that its going to be enough and pretty much as usual.
Without the ability to determine how the pandemic may look in the summer months, Lump said its difficult to say for sure how the fair will go. Its hard to plan for exact precautions when he isnt sure what they may be yet, but hes hopeful it will be as close to normal as possible.
6:40 a.m.: Lake County Health Department, sponsors, to show off new mass vaccination site
Lake County, Illinois, Health Department and officials from Baxter International and Curative were scheduled to give a media tour Friday showcasing the a mass vaccination site in Round Lake Beach that opened this week.
Officials were scheduled to give a media tour of the site, 400 E. Rollins Road in Round Lake Beach, Friday morning.
The is providing indoor COVID-19 vaccinations by appointment to all who live or work in Lake County, Illinois, ages 16 and older, at no cost. When vaccine supply allows the facility to reach its peak capacity of 5,000 vaccinations per day, this will be the largest vaccination site in the county, according to a release.
6 a.m.: All Chicago mass COVID-19 vaccination sites open for walk-in appointments starting Friday
All Chicago mass vaccination sites will accept walk-in appointments starting Friday, as the city also opens up eligibility at its vaccination sites to 16- and 17-year-olds.
The mass vaccination sites, which include the United Center site that is run in conjunction with the federal government, will open up access in order to accommodate residents who dont want to or cannot schedule appointments ahead of time, city Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said during a Thursday question-and-answer session.
The announcement about the mass vaccination sites came after three Cook County mass vaccination sites in the south suburbs Matteson, Summit and Tinley Park also opened up to walk-ins this week.
Meanwhile, Chicagoans under 18 must have a parent or guardian present during their appointment, and those 16 and 17 can only receive a Pfizer dose, according to the health department.
While walk-in appointments are being made available, the city still is encouraging people to make appointments to ensure they are able to receive a vaccine.
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