Chicago sticks with current guidelines for full vaccinations
To get into Chicago restaurants, bars and gyms under rules that started this week, you need to prove you're "fully vaccinated" with a full course of approved vaccines — but not necessarily boosted.
- And Chicago Public Health officials tell Axios they have no plans to change that fully vaxxed definition before the feds do.
Why it matters: Figures released by the UK Health Security Agency last week suggest that six months after a second vaccine dose, people are only 2% protected against contracting Omicron and 51% protected from hospitalization versus unvaccinated individuals.
- Booster shots raise that protection substantially.
Context: Back in early December, NIAID director Dr. Anthony Fauci said it's a matter of "when, not if" the CDC will update the definition of fully vaccinated to include boosters.
- Earlier this week, the FDA approved boosters for 12 to 15 year olds.
- Many Illinois colleges are now requiring boosters for students to return to school.
Yes, but: Only about 33% of all Americans and 37.8% of Illinoisians have gotten their boosters.
- At today's booster levels, that could mean the immediate loss of two-thirds of a business' in-house customers, though a mandate would spur more boosters.
- Chicago restaurant Baker Miller learned about the difficulties of trying this without a city mandate. Last month it had to shut down indoor dining entirely after getting threats in response to a proposed booster requirement for entry.
What's next: Don't expect things to change in Chicago until they change at the federal level.
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