COVID update: Illinois reports 4,584 new cases, 22 deaths

ByEric Horng and ABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Thursday, September 1, 2022
FDA clears updated COVID booster vaccines targeting newest omicron variant strain
The hope is that the modified boosters will blunt yet another winter surge.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Illinois reported 4,584 new COVID cases and 22 new deaths Thursday.

The Illinois Dept. of Public Health says "daily deaths reported on weekends and at the beginning of the week may be low" and "those deaths will be captured in subsequent days."

The video from the player above is from a previous report.

There have been at least 3,692,133 total COVID cases in the state since the start of the pandemic and at least 34,734 related deaths.

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As of Wednesday night, 1,288 patients in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19. Of those, 168 patients were in the ICU, and 54 patients with COVID-19 were on ventilators.

The daily case rate per 100,000 population is at 28.8.

A total of 23,244,172 vaccine doses have been administered in Illinois as of Wednesday and 65.53% of the state's population is fully vaccinated. The seven-day rolling average of vaccines administered daily is 5,765.

RELATED | US clears updated COVID boosters targeting newest omicron strain; shots could begin within days

A tweaked vaccine aimed at the latest COVID variant will roll out in a few days. The Food and Drug Administration cleared the way for a new booster with the hope of preventing a predicted fall and winter surge.

"These vaccine formulations will contain against the original strain of the virus as well as the most recent Omicron strains," said Dr. Benjamin Singer, with Northwestern Medicine.

The updated booster will replace the current booster and is only for people who have already taken their primary doses. The federal agency said the modified vaccine should be taken two months after your last shot. However, the FDA did not give a recommendation on a time frame if you have had COVID recently, although, doctors predict it may be similar.

"I assume if you've had recent COVID infection, as long as it's more than two months after infection, you should get the surge," said Dr. Max Brito, a UIC infectious disease specialist.

Pfizer's new booster was approved for people 12 and older and the Moderna shot is cleared for adults older than 18. The FDA has high hopes the new booster will be better at preventing infection and will last longer.

The goal is to move toward an annual tweaked shot, similar to the flu.

"The mRNA technology is very versatile, so you can tweak a couple things with the vaccine to get it to be effective against a new strain," Brito said.

Doctor explains new COVID booster made to target Omicron strain

Dr. Jonathan Pinsky, Medical Director of Infection Control and Prevention for Edward Hospital, talks about the latest booster vaccine for COVID.

So far, The U.S. government has bought over 170 million doses of Pfizer and Moderna's updated vaccine.

The Illinois Department of Health also said they expect 580,000 doses of the new Bivalent vaccines in the first week, in addition to the 150,000 doses already going to Chicago.

The exact delivery schedule is being finalized but officials said the vaccine will be available at pharmacies, hospitals and other healthcare providers.

The big challenge for health departments and doctors is convincing people to get the shot. Current booster rates remain low at 48.5% nationally and only 38.6% in Chicago.

"My view is full vaccination includes a booster," Dr. Singer said. "You really need the booster to have the best protection possible against Omicron."

The CDC is meeting Thursday and Friday to review the data and issue recommendations to health care providers. The Chicago Department of Public Health is expected to release more information Thursday about its plan to roll out the new booster.

IDPH said the best way to locate a vaccine provider near you, once approved by the CDC, will be to go to and search for the Bivalent booster availability.