Who's eligible and when to get second COVID-19 booster shot
With an omicron subvariant taking a greater foothold nationwide, federal regulators have approved a second COVID-19 vaccine booster shot for all Americans 50 and older.
The second booster should be administered no earlier than four months after the last booster shot, said Dr. Rachel Rubin, colead and senior medical officer at the Cook County Department of Public Health.
"The CDC said it is especially important for those 65 and older and those 50 and older with underlying medical conditions to get another booster shot to improve the protection from COVID and reduce serious complications, hospitalizations and death," Rubin explained.
Appointments for booster shots can be made with most primary care physicians or at clinics available at most national pharmacy chains like Walgreens and CVS, as well as those pharmacies in grocery stores.
"In suburban Cook County, positivity rates of COVID while still low, have slightly increased in recent weeks similar to state and national trends, with the Omicron subvariant now the dominant strain," Rubin said.
Public health officials said the subvariant is more infectious, but doesn't pose any greater medical threat than other versions of the virus that have come before it.
Statewide, the seven-day case positivity rate is at 1.7%, inching upward every day this week after falling to 1.2% on March 22. Case positivity allows health officials to track the level of infection within a certain population, however, because home-testing kits have become so prevalent, hospitalizations have taken on greater importance in tracking the effects of the disease.
Currently, there are 470 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 in Illinois. Of those, 64 are in ICU beds. Both figures are down slightly from a week ago, according to Illinois Department of Public Health figures.