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  • 14 Sep 2021 11:24 AM | Deborah Hodges (Administrator)

    People with moderately to severely compromised immune systems are especially vulnerable to COVID-19 and may not build the same level of immunity to 2-dose vaccine series compared to people who are not immunocompromised. CDC recommends that people with moderately to severely compromised immune systems receive an additional dose of mRNA COVID-19 vaccine at least 28 days after a second dose of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. This additional dose is intended to improve the response of people who are immunocompromised to their initial vaccine series.

    Although CDC does not recommend additional doses or booster shots for any other population at this time, HHS has announced a plan to begin offering COVID-19 vaccine booster shots this fall. 



  • 13 Sep 2021 7:46 PM | Deborah Hodges (Administrator)

    Tackling Maternal Health Equity to Achieve Maternal Health Justice in Illinois with Dr. Melissa Simon, MD, MPH, Professor, Obstetrics and Gynecology; Feinberg School of Medicine, Fellow of the Institute of Medicine of Chicago 

    Persistent and worsening racial and ethnic disparities in severe maternal morbidity and mortality in the US are urgent public health concerns requiring innovative, sustainable solutions. The perinatal period, the time before and after birth, has important implications for a woman’s health and that of her child. Unfortunately, standard perinatal care fails to meet the needs of women from Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) communities, especially with consideration to the Social Determinants of Health (SDoH) and the systemic racism that drive health disparities. 

    Institute of Medicine of Chicago
    Tackling Maternal Health Equity to Achieve Maternal Health Justice in Illinois
    A State of Health of Chicago session
    CEU 1.0

    By attending this session you will: 

    -Learn the drivers of maternal health inequities
    -Identify ways to advance maternal justice through implementation science
    -Obtain ways to advance maternal justice through clinical care practices

    Open to all

    More details and register here: Institute of Medicine of Chicago - Tackling Maternal Health Equity to Achieve Maternal Health Justice in Illinois (iomc.org)


  • 10 Sep 2021 5:35 PM | Deborah Hodges (Administrator)

    U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said Thursday it was "unacceptable" the Food and Drug Administration delayed its decision on whether Juul Labs and other major e-cigarette companies could continue to sell their products in the United States. (Health News Illinois 9.10.2021) More>

    Other news on this topic here


  • 9 Sep 2021 6:00 PM | Deborah Hodges (Administrator)

    The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 62 new COVID-19 deaths Wednesday, the highest single-day total in nearly seven months. (Health News Illinois 9.9.2021)

    Wednesday's number is the highest since 63 deaths were reported on Feb. 19. The death toll is 24,194.

    There were 3,961 new COVID-19 cases reported Wednesday, bringing the state’s total to 1,554,336.


    As of Tuesday, 2,327 Illinoisans were in the hospital with COVID-19, down six from Monday and up 85 from the prior week.


    Of the patients in the hospital, 565 were in the ICU, an increase of 14 from Monday and 53 from the prior week. There were 343 patients on ventilators, up 43 from Monday and 60 from the prior week.


    The seven-day statewide positivity rate for cases as a percent of total tests is 4.5 percent. The seven-day statewide test positivity using the number of COVID-19 positive tests over total tests is 5.1 percent.


    About 77.8 percent of eligible Illinoisans ages 12 and older have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About 60.4 percent are fully vaccinated.


    Illinois vaccinators have administered 14,099,513 COVID-19 vaccines, per state data. The seven-day average of doses administered is 21,251.

    More details here



  • 8 Sep 2021 12:55 PM | Deborah Hodges (Administrator)

    Not all unvaccinated Americans' opinions about COVID-19 vaccines are firmly anti-vaccine, as many people are still on the fence, according to a Sept. 1 CNET report. Understanding and addressing this populations' concerns in a compassionate manner could be key to raising vaccination rates. (Becker Health IT 9.2.2021) 

    The media often highlights the most extreme anti-vaccine voices, but many unvaccinated Americans aren't so resolute. Many people who are eligible to receive a vaccine but haven't gotten one are still grappling with their concerns, some of which have been fueled by the rapid online spread of health misinformation, according to vaccine expert Peter Hotez, MD, PhD.

    About 52 percent of the U.S. population has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to CDC data updated Sept. 1. White evangelical Christians and people younger than 65 who don't have health insurance are the most likely to say they're "definitely not" getting vaccinated against COVID-19, according to research conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation. Younger adults ages 18-29 are also more likely.

    The Kaiser Family Foundation found that the key demographic differences between people who are adamantly opposed to getting vaccinated and those who are still on the fence lie in Americans' racial, ethnic, religious and political identities.

    For example, white adults make up 50 percent of unvaccinated Americans who are on the fence, but white adults make up 65 percent of unvaccinated Americans who are adamantly opposed to getting vaccinated. White evangelical Christians make up nearly twice the share (32 percent) of the group who says they definitely won't get vaccinated compared to the group that is unsure.

    Some common reasons for vaccine hesitancy include distrust in the media to provide quality information about the vaccines, distrust in American medicine stemming from racist trials testing experimental treatments, uncertainty about the vaccines' long-term side effects and worries about how rapidly the vaccines were developed.

    Addressing these concerns with evidence-based information without coming off as condescending could be an effective way to persuade hesitant individuals to get vaccinated, according to pediatrician Rhea Boyd, MD, who founded a campaign in which ​​Black and Latinx healthcare workers provide information and combat misinformation about vaccines. Four in 10 people who are on the fence about COVID-19 vaccination are people of color, according to Kaiser Family Foundation data.

    Full article here> 

    Download copy of article here>


  • 7 Sep 2021 6:00 PM | Deborah Hodges (Administrator)

    The U.S. Census Bureau's Community Resilience Estimates (CRE) is experimental no more. It will now be a regularly updated data product that measures communities' ability to cope with disasters and other emergencies. (US Census Bureau 9.7.2021)

    The need for these estimates came to the forefront last year as the Census Bureau was inundated with data requests by government agencies that needed to make data-driven decisions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Full article here 


  • 3 Sep 2021 12:30 PM | Deborah Hodges (Administrator)

    More than 18 months into the COVID-19 pandemic, there are still very few drugs authorized by the FDA to treat the virus. Just one drug, remdesivir, has gained full FDA approval as a treatment for COVID-19. (Becker's Hospital Review)

    Becker's asked physicians from top health systems which medications they're using most frequently to treat their COVID-19 patients, which they're avoiding and which have been most effective. 

    Editor's note: Responses were edited lightly for length and clarity. 

    Question: Which drugs are you using most frequently to treat your COVID-19 patients? 

    Sanjana Koshy, MD, infectious diseases physician at Mount Sinai (New York City): We recommend dexamethasone for all our hospitalized patients requiring supplemental oxygen. This was based on the RECOVERY trial that showed a survival benefit in patients on supplemental oxygen. We have increasingly used tocilizumab in combination with dexamethasone in our severely ill hospitalized patients with rapidly increasing oxygen requirements. We continue to use remdesivir for our hospitalized patients on low-flow oxygen. 

    See full article here


  • 1 Sep 2021 7:53 PM | Deborah Hodges (Administrator)
    Attribution for Critical Illness and Injury Final Report

    The Attribution for Critical Illness and Injury Final Report is now available on the project page. This report includes the Committee's recommendations on the key elements of attribution models for mass casualty incidents and public health emergencies.

    It identifies relevant quality measures and measure concepts and outlines use cases illustrating how attribution considerations would apply to various high-acuity emergency scenarios. This work supports the development of attribution approaches that encourage collaboration and strengthen accountability at the system level to achieve favorable outcomes during large-scale emergencies.

    View the report online here. 

    Download a copy of the report. 


  • 30 Aug 2021 6:17 PM | Deborah Hodges (Administrator)

    Over three-quarters of Illinois counties at 'warning' level for COVID-19 (Health News Illinois 8.30.2021)

    More than three-quarters of Illinois’ 102 counties in the “warning” level for increased COVID-19 activity fell slightly last week, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

    The 78 counties at the “warning” level are up from 64 counties the prior week.

    The department also announced Friday that nearly 78 percent of Illinois adults have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Additionally, 61 percent of Illinois adults are fully vaccinated, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data.

    About 76.2 percent of residents 12 and older have had at least one shot, and 59.1 percent are fully vaccinated.

    Illinois vaccinators have administered 13,914,213 doses of vaccine. The seven-day average of doses administered is 24,056.

    There were 25,636 new COVID-19 cases reported last week, a 3.9 percent increase from the prior week. There were 174 more deaths reported last week, a 38.1 percent increase from the prior week.

    The new cases bring the state’s total to 1,508,005 cases, while the death toll is 23,889.

    The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity for cases as a percent of total tests is 5.2 percent. The preliminary seven-day statewide test positivity rate is 5.7 percent.

    As of Thursday, 2,240 Illinoisans were in the hospital with COVID-19, up 240 from the prior week. Of those patients in the hospital on Thursday, 500 were in the ICU, up 32 from the prior week, and 253 patients were on ventilators, up 19.

    IDPH reported 3,482 cases of the B.1.617.2 variant, also known as the delta variant, as of Friday. Additionally, the department has started to report three delta sub-variants, AY.1, AY.2, and AY.3.

    The department reported:

    ·    Two cases of AY.1.

    ·    22 cases of AY. 2.

    ·    800 cases of AY.3.

    ·    7,059 cases of the B.1.1.7 variant, also known as the alpha variant, which was discovered in England in November.

    ·    112 cases of the B.1.351 variant, also known as the beta variant, which was discovered in South Africa in October.

    ·    2,677 cases of the P.1. variant, also known as the gamma variant, which was discovered among travelers from Brazil after arriving in Japan in January.


  • 27 Aug 2021 4:42 PM | Deborah Hodges (Administrator)

    by Vinay Prasad, MD, MPH  

    Over the last week, the topic of COVID-19 booster shots -- a third dose of mRNA vaccine for healthy Americans -- has been thrust into the spotlight. The surgeon general, CDC director, Anthony Fauci, MD, and President Biden have announced that they wish for boosters to be available by late September for healthy adults who are 8 months out from their original two-dose series. While this will be contingent on an FDA evaluation to determine the "safety and effectiveness of the third dose," a clear path forward has already been set. And just like everything else throughout the course of the pandemic, the choice has been made with a dearth of data and an abundance of political pressure. (MedPage Today)

    Diminishing vaccine effectiveness supposedly makes the case for boosters. But there are two big questions here: First, what is current vaccine effectiveness? And second, what justifies boosters? Let's consider these in turn.

    What Is Vaccine Effectiveness Now?

    We have to be honest, many vaccine effectiveness studies are poorly done. All studies compare the rate of getting a breakthrough infection among vaccinated people against the rate of infection in unvaccinated people. But there are some issues with this approach. First, as time goes on, more unvaccinated people have had and recovered from COVID-19 (and these individuals may be less likely to go on to get a shot). This means that their risk of getting COVID-19 a second time is far less than the typical unvaccinated person who has never been sick. Even if vaccines "work" as well as before, this factor alone will result in the appearance of diminishing vaccine effectiveness. 

    Full article here

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