Illinois COVID Update: IL reports 4,194 cases, 44 deaths

BySarah Schulte and ABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Thursday, September 16, 2021
Some doctors say 3rd booster shot not yet necessary
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Some doctors said a 3rd COVID booster shot for the general public is not yet necessary, and that initial vaccination should remain the priority.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Illinois Department of Public Health officials reported 4,194 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 and 44 related deaths Wednesday.

There have been 1,582,392 total COVID cases, including 24,451 deaths in the state since the pandemic began.

The preliminary seven-day statewide test positivity from Sept. 8-14 is at 4.8%.

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Within the past 24 hours, laboratories have reported testing 93,865 specimens for a total of 30,193,211 since the pandemic began.

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As of Tuesday night, 2,229 patients in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19. Of those, 537 patients were in the ICU and 305 patients with COVID-19 were on ventilators.

A total of 14,241,348 vaccines have been administered in Illinois as of Tuesday. The seven-day rolling average of vaccines administered daily is 21,255. On Tuesday, 22,812 vaccines were administered.

Some doctors say booster shots not yet necessary

As Pfizer makes its booster pitch to the FDA, some infectious disease doctors question whether a third shot for the general population is really necessary right now.

"For individuals that get a booster shot, it might marginally improve their immunity, but a much better use value for that vaccine dose is to give it to one of the billions of people around the world who have yet to get a single vaccine," said Dr. Robert Citronberg, Advocate Aurora Health.

Initial data from Pfizer indicates the general public needs a booster six months after the second dose to "restore" protection to initial levels, the company said. The FDA caveats the data on effectiveness relies more on real world data rather than randomized control trials.

"I think the data is still emerging about the right thing to do with boosters and how effective they are going to be," said Dr. Egon Ozer, Northwestern Medicine infectious disease specialist.

The FDA is expected to meet Friday to review Pfizer's case for boosters. If the agency approves them for the general population, can people who didn't get Pfizer mix shots?

"Ideally you should get boosted with the type of vaccine you got for the first two vaccines," Citronberg said.

Although doctors say it is acceptable to mix the two MRNA vaccines. There is not enough data about mixing Pfizer or Moderna with Johnson & Johnson, though studies are being conducted.

But doctors warn we cannot boost ourselves out of the pandemic. They say the best way out is to vaccinate the unvaccinated.