Booster rates increase as Omicron approaches
As Chicagoans worry about the arrival of the Omicron variant, health officials say the best way to prepare — and to reduce current high levels of Delta — is to vaccinate and boost.
Why it matters: COVID-19 vaccination rates are still pretty low in certain communities and school groups where transmission is high.
- And as Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) chief Allison Arwady explains, low vaccination rates actually drive new variants.
By the numbers: As of last week, 77% of Chicagoans 12 and up had gotten at least one shot.
- 49.6% of CPS students 12 and up are fully vaccinated.
- 12.6% of CPS students 5 to 11 have gotten their first shot.
- 12 times more COVID cases happen in largely unvaccinated CPS elementary school students compared to the higher-vaccinated high school students.
Booster news: In anticipation of Omicron, the CDC strengthened its guidance this week on adult boosters, now recommending people "should" get them.
- CDPH tells Axios that 23.3% of Chicagoans over 18 and 32.6% over 50 have gotten boosted.
- This may seem astonishing since the CDC only opened boosters to all adults under 65 two weeks ago, but we know that lots of Chicagoans didn't wait that long.
- Chicago seniors over 65 now have a booster rate of 45.5%, about 10 points higher than a few weeks ago.
- These numbers mirror national data almost exactly.
Fun fact: Chicagoans who are most likely to be vaccinated are Asian women between 50 and 59 years old — in other words, Monica.
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