Efforts underway to educate pediatricians ahead of federal approval of COVID-19 vaccines for children under 5 years old
Efforts are underway by the Department of Public Health and the Illinois Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics to encourage COVID-19 vaccinations for children under 5 years old.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are expected by the end of this week to recommend vaccines for that age group.
The groups said Wednesday they’ve already been “laying the groundwork” for their work, including a program launched by the academy last fall that encourages healthcare provider organizations to integrate COVID-19 vaccinations into their clinical routine.
They will distribute a toolkit to pediatricians and healthcare providers to help them plan for the vaccine rollout, such as how to talk with parents about the protection provided by COVID-19 vaccines and their safety.
“It is truly wonderful news that vaccinations are on the horizon for this youngest group of Illinoisans,” IDPH Acting Director Amaal Tokars said in a statement. “We encourage every parent or guardian of children six months and older to consult with their pediatricians and make plans to get their children vaccinated and protected from COVID-19.”
As of Tuesday, 1,177 Illinoisans were in the hospital with COVID-19, down 15 from Monday and down 24 from the prior week.
Of the patients in the hospital, 125 were in intensive care units, up three from Monday and up four from the prior week. Twenty-one percent of Illinois’ ICU beds were available, the same as the prior week.
There were 59 patients on ventilators, up 24 from Monday and up 23 from the prior week.
Thirty-two Illinois counties are now at “high” COVID-19 transmission risk, the level at which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends people mask indoors in public spaces. An additional 39 counties are now rated at the “medium” risk level.
IDPH reported 5,737 new COVID-19 cases and five deaths on Wednesday. The new cases bring the state total to 3,371,262. The death toll is 33,959.
The seven-day average for new cases on Wednesday was 4,103, down 1,008 from the prior week. The seven-day average for daily deaths is eight, down two from the prior week.
The seven-day case rate per 100,000 people is 32.2, down 7.9 from the prior week.
Illinois vaccinators have administered 22,521,350 COVID-19 vaccines, including 4,571,965 booster doses. The seven-day average for doses administered is 10,636.