On October 20, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued emergency approvals to give booster vaccinations to specific groups of people who had completed the primary dose series for Moderna and Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccines. The FDA previously approved boosters for the Pfizer vaccine. The approval also allows people to get a booster dose that is different from their original vaccines. The FDA has approved:
- A booster dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine given at least six months after the first two vaccinations to people: 65 years of age and older; 18 to 64 years of age at high risk for severe COVID-19; 18 to 64 years old with frequent institutional or occupational exposure to COVID-19.
- A booster dose of the J&J COVID-19 vaccine given at least 2 months after the first J&J vaccination to people aged 18 and over.
- The use of any of the available COVID-19 vaccines as a heterologous (or “mix and match”) booster dose to eligible individuals after completing the primary series with another available COVID-19 vaccine.
“Today’s actions show our commitment to public health in proactively combating the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock, MD effective method for preventing COVID-19, including its most serious consequences, such as Hospitalization and death. The available data suggest decreased immunity in some fully vaccinated populations. The availability of these approved boosters is important for ongoing protection against COVID-19 disease. “
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are expected to come out fairly quickly with their recommendations on Moderna and J&J boosters and how to mix and match boosters.
New Cases: The weekly number of new cases per 100,000 Illinois residents decreased from 126 to 112 in the week ended October 21, an 11% decrease from the previous week. The number of new cases per week in the state is now about 4.9 times higher than it was on Jan.
The graph above shows that the trends in new cases per week are also lower in Suburban Cook County, but higher in Evanston and Chicago. The number of new cases per 100,000 for Evanston, Suburban Cook County, Chicago, and Illinois is listed below:
Evanston – 103
Suburb Cook County – 98
Chicago – 89
Illinois – 112
Suburban Cook Counties and Chicago are considered “significant carry-over” areas under CDC guidelines. Evanston and Illinois are considered “high transmission” areas. See footnote 2.
Test Positive Rates: The seven day test positive rates in each region are as follows: Evanston 0.9%; Suburb of Cook County – 2.0%; Chicago – 2.1%; and Illinois – 2.2%. Test positive rates are lower in Suburban Cook County and Chicago, but higher in Evanston and Chicago.
Vaccinations: The number of people vaccinated in the state continues to grow, but only very slowly. As of October 21, 81% of Illinois residents who are 12 and older had at least one dose of a vaccine, up from 80.9% on October 14; and 63.4% were fully vaccinated, practically the same as on October 14th. These percentages include people who reside in Illinois who have been vaccinated in Illinois or other states. The 7-day average for vaccinations is 28,913, down from 27,559 a week ago. Source CDC and IDPH.
As of October 21, 89.3% of Evanston residents 12 years and older had received at least one dose of vaccine; 82.4% were fully vaccinated. Each number has increased by a fraction of a percentage point compared to the previous week. Source city of Evanston.
Evanston – COVID
Evanston reported 12 new COVID-19 cases from Evanston residents today October 21, compared with 11 yesterday and 24 on Tuesday.
There have been a total of 76 new Covid-19 cases among Evanston residents in the past seven days, compared to 55 in the previous seven days. About 8,500 COVID-19 tests were performed in the last week, compared to 12,500 the previous week.
The 7-day test positive rate is 0.9% today, compared to 0.4% a week ago.
There were a total of 5,436 COVID-19 cases from Evanston residents during the pandemic, of which 102 are active.
No Evanstonian has died of COVID-19 since September 14. The number of deaths from COVID-19 is 121.
Cases at D65 and ETHS. According to data posted on the School District 65 website, there were 4 new cases of COVID-19 from students in District 65 in the week ending October 19, and 40 students were in quarantine. The data do not give any indication of whether the students in the schools were infected. There were 2 new cases for employees and one employee was in quarantine.
According to the data published on the ETHS website, for the week ending October 19, there were no new cases of COVID-19 from a student at ETHS and 2 were in quarantine. There were 3 new cases among employees and 3 employees were in quarantine. The data do not give any indication of whether the students in the schools were infected.
Northwestern University influence. The latest data on Northwestern University’s website reports that there were 40 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 from a faculty member, employee or student at NU between October 8 and October 14. If the faculty member, staff member, or student resides in Evanston, the case or cases will be included in the city numbers. NU’s new case data is now a week old and doesn’t shed any light on why Evanston’s cases rose in the week ended October 21. The dates will be updated on October 22nd.
Regarding the above 40 cases from NU faculties, staff and students, Ike Ogbo, the city’s director of health and human services, told the RoundTable, “Despite NU’s vaccine mandate, we are seeing a number of landmark cases, both in NU , in the parish and in the rest of the country. Most breakthrough cases, however, are asymptomatic or mild. We’re seeing a fraction of the breakthrough cases in Evanston compared to thousands of fully vaccinated community members. It shows that COVID-19 vaccines are effective in preventing infection, serious illness and death. ”
1 / The state moved into Phase 5 of the Illinois Recovery Plan on June 11th. Since July 1, the RoundTable has been dealing with the COVID-19 key figures once a week on Thursdays. Specifically, the RoundTable presents two charts showing: 1) the trends in the number of new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people in the two most recent seven-day periods for Evanston, Chicago, Suburban Cook County and the state. The graph also shows the weekly number of new cases for each region as of June 10 as a base to measure whether cases have increased since moving to Phase 5. and 2) the latest test positive rates for these areas.
As explained in footnote 3 below, the CDC recommends using these two measures to determine risk of transmission. If we see an increase in new cases or in test positive rates, we consider covering additional metrics.
We’ll also be reporting the latest percentages of people 12 and over vaccinated in Evanston and Illinois.
2 / In late July, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), and Evanston’s Health & Human Services Dept passed a public indoor facility in areas with “significant” and “high transmission” of new COVID-19 -Cases. Areas with significant transmission are those with 50 to 99 cases per 100,000 inhabitants over a period of 7 days. Areas with high transmission are those with more than 100 cases per 100,000 inhabitants over a period of 7 days.
They also recommend universal internal masking for all teachers, staff, students and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status.
3 / On February 12, the CDC published a K-12 school operations strategy. As part of this strategy, the CDC recommends two measures to determine the risk of transmission, according to the report: 1) the total number of new cases per 100,000 people in the last 7 days; and 2) the percentage of COVID tests in the past seven days that were positive. The CDC provides a graph to help assess whether the risk of transmission is low, moderate, significant, or high. If the two indicators indicate different levels of risk, the CDC says the higher level of risk should be used. The following table, reprinted from the CDC report, sets out the CDC’s indicators and thresholds for the transmission of COVID-219 in the community.
The CDC guidelines are available here: Operational Strategy for K-12 Schools through Gradual Prevention | CDC