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Illinois Coronavirus Updates: COVID Vaccines for Kids Under 12, Mask Mandate Latest

COVID vaccinations for children ages 5-11 have been authorized and could soon begin in the Chicago area. Meanwhile, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker revealed what he’s watching for as some in the state question when an indoor mask mandate will be lifted. Here’s what you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic across Illinois today: Report: Aaron Rodgers Tests Positive for COVID-19, Will Miss Chiefs Game Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers reportedly will miss Sunday’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs due to a positive COVID-19 test. Rodgers is unvaccinated, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport and Mike Garofolo, so he cannot return to the team in time for Sunday’s game in accordance with the NFL’s COVID-19 protocols. When asked in August whether he had been vaccinated, Rodgers said he had been “immunized.” Read more here. Walgreens, CVS to Begin Offering COVID Vaccines for Kids Under 12 This Weekend Walgreens and CVS will soon be administering COVID vaccines to children under 12 years old, with appointments already being offered as of Wednesday. Both pharmacy chains announced plans to begin administering shots this weekend. Late Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gave the final OK for youngsters age 5 to 11 to get kid-size doses of the vaccine made by Pfizer and its partner BioNTech. Details here. IDPH Releases Details on COVID Vaccines for Kids 5-11 After CDC Recommendation Illinois’ health department released its plans for coronavirus vaccinations for kids as young as 5 Wednesday, one day after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended the shots. Late Tuesday, the CDC gave the final OK for youngsters age 5 to 11 to get kid-size doses of the vaccine made by Pfizer and its partner BioNTech. The Illinois Department of Public Health said Wednesday that it plans to align with the CDC’s recent guidance. Read more here. Here’s When COVID Vaccinations for Kids 5 to 11 Could Begin in Chicago Area Coronavirus vaccinations for kids under 12 cleared the final phase of the authorization process on Tuesday, but when could they begin in the Chicago area? Because the children’s doses are smaller and in different containers, the doses must be shipped to both the state and city. Vials of the lower-dose Pfizer vaccine for kids are headed to the Chicago-area any day now, health officials say. Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said that while next week will be a big week for vaccinating children, the shots could begin as early as Thursday. Read more here. Kids 5 to 11 May Now Get a COVID-19 Vaccine. Here’s What Parents Need to Know Vaccinations finally are available to U.S. children as young as 5, to the relief of some parents even as others have questions or fears. Late Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gave the final OK for youngsters age 5 to 11 to get kid-size doses of the vaccine made by Pfizer and its partner BioNTech. Pediatricians and other doctors’ groups praised the move and are gearing up to help families decide whether to vaccinate their children. The shots could be available as soon as Wednesday and will be offered at pediatricians offices, clinics and pharmacies. Like COVID-19 vaccines for adults, they are free. Read more here. Pritzker Reveals What He’s Watching for to Determine if Mask Mandate Can Be Lifted Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said there are a mix of things he’s looking at to determine the status of the state’s mask mandate, but two metrics in particular stand out. Speaking to reporters Tuesday after receiving his COVID-19 booster shot, Pritzker said the masking decision is being evaluated “really every day” by himself and doctors at the Illinois Department of Public Health. “We look at the numbers, I talk to the doctors at IDPH, especially [IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike], and what we’re trying to evaluate is: are the hospitalization numbers, for example, increasing, decreasing, staying the same?” Pritzker said. “We want them to decrease. They’re not currently, just to be clear.” But hospitalizations aren’t the only metric being used by state officials. Read more here. Is It Safe to Bring Your Child to See Santa in Person? Chicago’s Top Doc Answers It’s the holiday season and in-person Santa visits are returning to Illinois stores and malls, but how safe is it? While children could soon begin receiving COVID vaccinations, they may not be fully vaccinated in time for the holiday tradition, but Chicago’s top doctor said other precautions will likely be in place. “I think certainly my guess is that Santas are getting tested for COVID,” Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said in a Facebook Live Tuesday. “If you know what I mean? I would I would guess that Santas are – they’re being extra careful. And certainly I’m sure any of the larger stores would be doing that.” She added that indoor mask mandates remain in place, which help to lower the risk, particularly for children who aren’t eligible for vaccination yet. Read more here. 3 States Removed, Others Added Back On as Chicago’s Travel Advisory Updated Three additional locations were removed from Chicago’s travel advisory this week, while two others returned, leaving the list of places on the city’s warning list at 41 states and one territory. South Carolina, Texas and the Virgin Islands moved out of the city’s “orange category” on the advisory, while California and Mississippi both reached the threshold to be added back once again. That means the only states and territories not on the travel advisory are Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Maryland, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Texas, and the Virgin Islands.   Read more here. covid-19 vaccine Oct 22 Is It Time to Get a COVID-19 Booster? Which One? What You Need to Know COVID-19 Oct 22 U.S. Officials Keep Close Watch on the ‘Delta Plus' Covid Mutation as It Spreads in the U.K. COVID Vaccine Side Effects for Kids Under 12: What Parents Need to Know Some parents are eagerly awaiting the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines for kids age 5 through 11, with the Centers for Disease Control’s approval possible as early as Tuesday. Others remain hesitant, worried about serious side effects and the possibility of longterm impacts. Doctors, however, overwhelmingly assert the benefits of vaccinating children are clear and outweigh the risks. While a small portion of children suffer from severe disease, it’s less likely for children to develop serious complications compared to adults. Fully vaccinating 1 million kids ages 5 to 11 would prevent 58,000 COVID infections, 241 hospitalizations, 77 ICU stays and one death, according to a modeled scenario published by the Food and Drug Administration last week. Up to 106 kids would suffer from vaccine-induced myocarditis but most would recover, according to the agency. Children are experiencing less side effects overall, according to Dr. Jackie Korpics with Cook County Health. But when children do encounter side effects, they’re typically similar to the ones experienced by adults and usually after the second dose, too. Read more here. 10 Myths About COVID-19 Vaccine For Kids, Busted By Chicago Pediatricians The FDA is planning to meet soon to discuss the next eligible age group, children ages 5-11, for the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine, and pediatricians are preparing to administer the shots, once the vaccine is approved. Doctors at Advocate Children’s Hospital have been talking with families and parents, listening to their questions and concerns. Misinformation about the vaccine is a big concern for Advocate doctors, who composed a list of the top myths they’re hearing. Read the top 10 myths here. Get the latest news on COVID-19 in your inbox. Click here to sign up for our daily coronavirus newsletter.

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