COVID Boosters for Kids, Predicting a Surge – NBC Chicago

New COVID booster shots for kids could start as early as this week in the Chicago area.

Already, Illinois health officials have endorsed the new booster doses for children as young as 5.

Here’s what you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic across Illinois today:

Chicago’s Top Doc Says New Bivalent Shots For Kids as Young As 5 Could Start Monday

The Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control both on Wednesday gave the green light for children as young as 5 to receive the new bivalent COVID booster shots, which previously were only available to those 12 and over.

In an interview Thursday morning with NBC 5’s Lauren Petty, Arwady stressed that the new COVID booster being available for children as young as 5 is critical to preventing a possible surge the next few months.

“Everybody getting [the booster] is how we’re going to hopefully stay out of trouble here this fall and winter,” she said.

Arwady also said she expects shots to begin in the Chicago area as early as this week.

Read more here.

Illinois Health Officials Endorse Bivalent COVID-19 Boosters for Children 5 and Older

Updated COVID-19 booster shots were cleared recently to include children as young as 5, and Illinois health officials are backing the breadth of access with their sights set on bolstering protection against newer strains of the virus.

The Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control green lit the expansion of eligibility Wednesday. Dr. Sameer Vohra, the Director of the Illinois Department of Public Health, said in a statement Friday the new range of access comes at a critical time in Illinois.

Read more here.

Chicago’s Top Doc Predicts ‘We’re Going to See a COVID Surge’ This Winter

As was the case the past two years, the U.S. could be in for another COVID-19 surge this winter as the colder weather drives people to spend more time indoors and the risk of transmission rises.

Chicago’s top doctor said while she hasn’t seen “anything really scary yet on the horizon,” she believes cases will increase this winter. But how bad would the anticipated potential surge be?

It depends on certain factors, like if another omicron-like mutation occurs and new variants emerge.

Read more here.

What Should You Eat When You Have COVID? More Than A Dozen Foods to Boost Your Immune System

If you’ve come down with COVID before, you likely know what to do if it happens again, including drinking plenty of fluids, getting a good amount of rest, and, if necessary, taking over-the-counter medications for temporary relief.

Depending on the severity of your illness, you may be prescribed Paxlovid – the only antiviral pill recommended to treat the disease – advised to undergo monoclonal antibody treatment or take another route. If you’ve become infected, regardless of which treatment you take, doctors say it’s important to fill your body with nutrient-rich foods.

Read more here.

How Worried Should You Be as BA.5 Dominance Drops, New COVID Variants Rise?

While BA.5 remains the most prominent COVID-19 variant, accounting for 67.9% of the country’s coronavirus cases, its dominance appears to be waning as other omicron subvariants grow in numbers.

Chicago’s top doctor said that she’s “a little concerned” by the shift in variants in a Facebook question-and-answer session earlier this week, which comes ahead of the winter season, a time of year that has historically seen some of the largest COVID surges.

Read more here.

‘It’s More Important Than Ever to Do This,’ Chicago’s Top Doc Says of New COVID Booster

As the cold weather picks up, Chicago Department of Public Health commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady stressed the importance of staying healthy ahead of the holidays, saying “You can get your COVID vaccine and your flu vaccine, and get one in each arm if you want. It’s more important than ever to do this.”

Arwady said that any surge in COVID cases could potentially cause serious strain on the health care system if flu season is bad and noted that her concern for kids is rising with RSV cases already spiking among younger populations.

“We’re already seeing a big surge in respiratory viruses broadly, even before flu has seriously kicked in,” she said. “We’re seeing our pediatric hospitals fill with kids getting admitted with RSV and other childhood viruses.”

In an interview Thursday morning with NBC 5’s Lauren Petty, Arwady stressed that the new COVID booster being available for children as young as 5 is critical to preventing a possible surge the next few months.

“Everybody getting [the booster] is how we’re going to hopefully stay out of trouble here this fall and winter,” she said.

Read more here.