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Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

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IDPH supports CDC’s recommendation for new COVID-19 vaccines

Illustration by Lily Ogburn
The IDPH endorsed the CDC’s recommendation to administer FDA-approved COVID-19 booster shots for all people ages six months and older.

The Illinois Department of Public Health recently endorsed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendation to administer COVID-19 booster shots from Pfizer and Moderna approved by the Food and Drug Administration for people six months and older. 

This new recommendation from the CDC comes just nine days after the FDA approved new mRNA shots for all people over 5 years old.

“Illinois now has a new tool to prepare our residents for the fall and winter respiratory season: an updated COVID-19 vaccine that targets current strains,” IDPH Director Sameer Vohra, said in a press release. “These shots will help prevent hospitalizations and severe outcomes and are especially important for those who are over 65, immunocompromised, or have chronic medical conditions.”  

According to the IDPH, there has been a recent increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations across Illinois. During the week of Sept. 3, there were 330 confirmed COVID-19 hospitalizations in Cook County, a 4.4% increase from the previous week. While the county currently has a low rate of hospitalizations as defined by the CDC, experts expect cases to increase this upcoming fall and winter.

Following the end of the federal COVID-19 Public Health Emergency in May, insurance companies are no longer required to cover the cost of COVID-19 testing. A CDC update shortly thereafter stated that “access to COVID-19 vaccines will generally not be affected for now.” 

However, according to a fact sheet published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, “once the federal government is no longer purchasing or distributing COVID-19 vaccines and treatments, payment, coverage, and access may change.”

As the federal government stops covering the cost of vaccines, the distribution of vaccines will transition to the healthcare market. IDPH stated most insurance plans cover the vaccine, and those without insurance can still receive free vaccines at local health centers.

This fall and winter, the IDPH is working to mitigate cases of the three viruses responsible for the most hospitalizations: COVID-19, respiratory syncytial virus, and the flu. Vaccines are now available for all three, and the shots are safe to be administered together, the IDPH wrote in its press release.

According to the CDC, the updated vaccine is a replacement for prior Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

“The virus that causes COVID-19 is always changing,” the CDC said in a Sept. 12 press release. “And protection from COVID-19 vaccines declines over time.”

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @LilyOgburn

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