CHICAGO (WLS) -- Illinois public health officials reported 1,562 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 and 26 related deaths Tuesday as some of the top pediatricians in Illinois weighed in on getting children 12 and up vaccinated.
Leaders from three of Chicago's top children's hospitals gathered in Wilmette to weigh in on the recent FDA approval for 12-15 year olds to get vaccinated.
"The ability to immunize children ages 12 and up against COVID marks a giant step forward toward pre-pandemic normalcy with the hope of in-person schooling, play dates, summer camps and graduations," said Dr. Sharon Robinson.
Dr. Frank Belmonte from Advocate Children's Hospital, Dr. Allison Bartlett from Comer Children's Hospital and Dr. Sharon Robinson from NorthShore University HealthSystem came together to represent the Chicagoland Children's Health Alliance's in its unified stance on vaccinating children as soon as possible to help end the COVID-19 pandemic.
The three pediatricians discussed the announcement from the FDA and addressed the hesitancy some parents may have about the vaccine.
"Your chances of having adverse side effect from actually getting the virus or a complication is higher than any risk that you would have from getting the vaccine," said Dr. Belmonte. "So as a pediatrician and a father of two who are in this age group, I am getting my daughters vaccinated as soon as i can schedule the appointment."
The FDA says children as young as 12 could receive the Pfizer vaccine as soon as Thursday, CDC approval.
The FDA said clinical trials showed the vaccine is safe and 100% effective. It's now up to the CDC.
The pediatricians at the event Tuesday said they want to stop the disease from happening in the first place and their hope is to build parents' confidence in the vaccines.
Malcom X College offering free online Vaccine Ambassador Course
The City Colleges of Chicago is offering free online training that allows people to become vaccine education ambassadors in their communities.
The Vaccine Ambassador Course is available through the Malcolm X College Continuing Education Department in English and Spanish.
During the two-hour course students will learn about the root causes of vaccine hesitancy and how to approach difficult vaccine conversation.
For more information and to sign-up visit www.ccc.edu/vaccineambassador.
There have been 1,357,953 total COVID cases, including 22,261 deaths in the state since the pandemic began.
Within the past 24 hours, laboratories have reported testing 46,334 specimens for a total of 23,435,198since the pandemic began.
The preliminary seven-day statewide test positivity from May 4 to May 10, is 3.3%.
As of Monday night, 1,930 patients in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19. Of those, 489 patients were in the ICU and 261 patients with COVID-19 were on ventilators.
A total of 10,037,624 vaccines have been administered in Illinois as of Monday night. The seven-day rolling average of vaccines administered daily is 83,887 doses. There were 58,709 doses reported administered in Illinois Monday.
Starting Tuesday, hours will be extended at several mass vaccination locations in Cook County.
Sites in Matteson, River Grove, South Holland, Des Plaines and Forest Park will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays.
The deaths reported Tuesday include:
-Cook County: 1 female 30s, 1 male 30s, 1 female 40s, 1 female 50s, 1 male 50s, 4 females 60s, 2 males 60s, 1 female 70s, 3 males 70s, 2 females 80s, 1 male 80s
-DuPage County: 1 female 80s
-Knox County: 1 male 80s
-Lake County: 1 male 50s, 1 female 80s
-Moultrie County: 1 female 70s, 1 female 90s
-Rock Island County: 1 female 90s, 1 male 90s