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COVID-19 roundup

Wednesday, Aug 11, 2021

* Another reason to protect kids: Hospitals were already being overrun by RSV and parainfluenza

The timing of Delta’s pediatric spike couldn’t have been worse. Many hospitals have for months been cracking under pressure from an unseasonal surge of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and parainfluenza—two other airway pathogens that can cause serious illnesses in the very young. Both viruses, typically fixtures of the chilly late-autumn and winter months, had all but evaporated during their typical November-to-February heyday, likely suppressed by pandemic-caliber masking and distancing. When those precautions began to slip, “boom, RSV hit us like a boulder,” Sharon Stoolman, a pediatric hospitalist at Children’s Hospital & Medical Center in Nebraska, told me.

The usual influx of pediatric traumas and the unresolved strain on hospitals from the pandemic’s relentless 18-month slog add to the stress. Several health workers told me they were terrified that they’d be unable to provide adequate care to all the sick children coming their way. “My hospital is full today—I don’t have a bed,” Melissa J. Sacco, a pediatric critical-care physician at UVA Children’s Hospital, in Virginia, told me last week. “And I’m just thinking, Please, nobody get run over by a lawn mower.”

Wear a mask and get your shots.

* Press release…

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is launching a new immunization portal, Vax Verify, that will allow Illinois residents 18 years and older to check their COVID-19 vaccination record. Vax Verify can be accessed at https://idphportal.illinois.gov.

“As more businesses, events, organizations, and others require proof of vaccination, Illinois residents will be able to confirm using Vax Verify that they have been vaccinated for COVID-19,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike. “With the current surge in cases, more people are making the decision to get a COVID-19 vaccine and this new tool will aid residents in confirming their vaccination where needed.”

Illinois State Fair concert goers with tickets for the grandstand track area (also known as Standing Room Only) are required to provide a print or digital copy of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test within the previous 72 hours. Ticket holders can register in Vax Verify to check their immunization record for documentation of COVID-19 vaccination.

More and more companies, such as United, Google, Netflix, Morgan Stanley, Saks Fifth Avenue, Ascension Health, and Lyft, are instituting vaccine requirements for at least some of their employees.

The verification system follows best practices to protect confidential health information. In order to download proof of vaccination, residents will go through a brief, one-time identity verification process to gain access to their immunization history. The State of Illinois utilizes Experian® as its identity verification service provider. Individuals who have placed a freeze on their credit will need to unfreeze their credit with Experian® and wait 24 hours before completing the registration process. After completing registrations, individuals can re-freeze their credit by contacting Experian®.

After the verification process, individuals can see their own record in the Illinois Comprehensive Automated Immunization Registry Exchange (I-CARE).

Immunization records are kept confidential and only the individual can access their vaccination history. Parents should talk with their child’s provider to confirm their vaccination status. Some individuals with very common names will need to take additional steps to securely prove their identities.

* Center Square

“A digitized system based on proof of immunization will amplify the lack of access,” the EFF said in a blog post. “Resources, especially tax dollars, should be focused on giving people more information about and access to vaccinations, rather than creating a digital fence against those who haven’t been vaccinated yet – and subjecting people who have been vaccinated to new privacy risks.

That post was written last December, when vaccine access and supply were both very limited and the Electronic Frontier Foundation was mainly concerned about equity.

* Press release…

The Illinois State Fair along with Governor JB Pritzker, announced that eleven healthcare workers from around the state will serve as the Grand Marshals for the 2021 Twilight Parade.

“Since early last year, our brave healthcare heroes have kept Illinois communities safe as the COVID-19 pandemic changed the lives of residents in every corner of the state,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “Their ceaseless dedication to providing the best possible care for their neighbors saved lives. I look forward to honoring their sacrifices during this year’s Twilight Parade and I urge all Illinois residents to show their appreciation by receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.”

“We are proud to have our frontline healthcare workers and spiritual leaders take center stage to kick off the 2021 Illinois State Fair,” said Jerry Costello II, Illinois Department of Agriculture Director. “It is their hard work and dedication that have seen us through this past year and half, and now allows us to welcome folks back to the Illinois State Fair.”

The Grand Marshals represent all regions of the state and are as follows:

    Carson Andrew, PA- Oregon, IL
    Stephanie Soliz BSN, RN- Hampton, IL
    Pastor T. Ray McJunkins- Springfield, IL
    Latisha Stennis, A BH NP- East St. Louis, IL
    Woody Thorne- Makanda, IL
    Dr. Brent Reifsteck- Tolono, IL
    Dr. Dan Garganera- Lockport, IL
    Dr. Daryl Wilson- Naperville, IL
    Gaudalupe Rodriguez- Park City, IL
    Dr. Lisa Green- Chicago, IL
    Dr. Mahesh Patel- Evanston, IL

This year’s Twilight Parade will turn east on Illinois Avenue and will end past the fire station at Gate 3. Admission to the fairgrounds is $5.00 for adults, $3.00 for seniors (60 and older) and kids 12 and under are free on Preview Day (Thursday). All carnival rides, including those in Adventure Village, will be open by Noon and all rides will be $2. Participants and attendees of the Twilight Parade are encouraged to wear masks.

The parade kicks off Thursday afternoon at 5:30.

* Other developments…

* COVID-19 update: 17,068 more shots, 3,933 new cases, 9 more deaths, 5.1% case positivity rate, 1,558 hospitalized, 49,200 tests

* UI sets aside Illini Union Hotel as quarantine spot; reservations canceled

* ‘What is happening to me?’ The teenagers trying to make sense of long Covid: More than 100,000 Britons under 25 have endured months of debilitating symptoms, while doctors struggle to help and others fail to take them seriously. Four young people describe what it’s like

* Fake COVID-19 vaccination cards worry college officials, as delta variant forces schools to require proof of shots

* Republicans risk becoming face of delta surge as key GOP governors oppose anti-covid measures

* CDC urges COVID vaccines during pregnancy as delta surges

- Posted by Rich Miller        

25 Comments
  1. - Commissar Gritty. - Wednesday, Aug 11, 21 @ 1:26 pm:

    Glad they’re implementing the Vax Verify system. Quick question posed by one of my interns that I thought I’d farm to the CF family (no relation).

    Why did they only allow people 18 or older to verify when they’re allowing people as young as 12 to get the shot? Should they just carry their cards around?

    Thanks! And yes that was a Mary Miller joke


  2. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Aug 11, 21 @ 1:36 pm:

    Portal for vaccine verification would be great if it worked. Tried to login multiple times to no avail.


  3. - Nuke The Whales - Wednesday, Aug 11, 21 @ 1:44 pm:

    ==Fake COVID-19 vaccination cards worry college officials, as delta variant forces schools to require proof of shots==
    Can we not make lying about your vaccination status an expellable offense? Frankly, I think it’s a form of fraud.

    Also, considering I could book the United Center on my iPhone and still have it in my apple wallet, we could have done vaccine passports if people had been willing to take the political hit and enforce them.


  4. - Publius - Wednesday, Aug 11, 21 @ 1:45 pm:

    Just tried it and it worked just fine for me. I can see the flu vaccines I recieved during the last few years also.


  5. - TheInvisibleMan - Wednesday, Aug 11, 21 @ 1:56 pm:

    – Republicans risk becoming face of delta surge –

    That ship has sailed.

    The sudden flip 2 weeks ago pushing for people to get vaccinated suddenly coming from the leadership of the national republican party, was because they were starting to see the first hints this was already happening to the reputation of the party at a national level.

    In some places at the local level, openly mocking the sick is already a republican campaign strategy.


  6. - Cool Papa Bell - Wednesday, Aug 11, 21 @ 1:59 pm:

    The stuff with kids is really getting to me. With an 11 1/2 year old set to go to school on Friday I want that shot in his arm sooner rather than later.


  7. - Donnie Elgin - Wednesday, Aug 11, 21 @ 2:06 pm:

    Illinois does not have a good track record of protecting and securing confidential data. The Cyber/Ransomware attack on Illinois Attorney General’s office has me very hesitant to fill the Vax Verify info- they ask for DOB, Mothers maiden name and more .


  8. - Tynie - Wednesday, Aug 11, 21 @ 2:16 pm:

    Legit question. Is the Vax Verify mandatory, or can people still use the cards they get with the vaccine?


  9. - Omay - Wednesday, Aug 11, 21 @ 2:18 pm:

    Amen, Cool Papa Bell. We are in the same boat with our daughter. Same age.


  10. - Extracker - Wednesday, Aug 11, 21 @ 2:19 pm:

    Although the Governor indicated that he will not set up vaccine passports, the IDPH portal is in fact a passport of COVID and other immunization records. All my shots since 2016 are on the site, including those from Jewel Osco. BIGBROTHER is here.


  11. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Aug 11, 21 @ 2:21 pm:

    ===he will not set up vaccine passports===

    No. Get off Facebook.

    Pritzker said, however, Illinois may “look for some way to have an electronic measure available” to residents who want a system to show vaccination status.

    “That’s just something, again, if the users desire, you know, if they want to use something like that,” the governor explained. “We want to make that available, but otherwise, it’s not something that we would require.”

    https://www.nbcchicago.com/news/local/illinois-wont-require-covid-19-vaccine-passports-pritzker-says/2499851/


  12. - OneMan - Wednesday, Aug 11, 21 @ 2:24 pm:

    Since I suspect someone from the IDPH watches this site, if providing the SSN for validation is optional why can’t you seem to do anything unless you complete that step?


  13. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Aug 11, 21 @ 2:29 pm:

    ==IDPH portal is in fact a passport of COVID and other immunization records==

    IDPH has always known about your vaccinations. This isn’t new. Also, you’re not required to use it. It’s simply a tool that is available.


  14. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Aug 11, 21 @ 2:30 pm:

    ==if providing the SSN for validation is optional==

    It says it’s optional but it must really not be because you can’t get past that step if you don’t provide anything.


  15. - Tynie - Wednesday, Aug 11, 21 @ 2:45 pm:

    Demoralized, TY for clearing that up for me. I know it made me seem dumb, but tech atuff usually does so.. Lol.


  16. - Tynie - Wednesday, Aug 11, 21 @ 2:46 pm:

    *stuff rather.


  17. - SAP - Wednesday, Aug 11, 21 @ 2:55 pm:

    Set up an account only to find that the State has no record of the vaccine doses I received over 2 months ago at the State Fairgrounds.

    Frustrating.


  18. - cermak_rd - Wednesday, Aug 11, 21 @ 3:12 pm:

    Way cool! And it uses Google Authenticator for seconary verification. Like!

    It sees both my Covid shots, 1 from CHS and one from CCHS (so different jurisdictions). It also sees a flu vaccine and the TDAP I got a few years back after I accidentally stabbed my foot.


  19. - ArchPundit - Wednesday, Aug 11, 21 @ 3:19 pm:

    ===I-CARE, or Illinois Comprehensive Automated Immunization Registry Exchange, is a web based immunization record-sharing application developed by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). The application allows public and private healthcare providers to share the immunization records of Illinois residents with other physicians statewide.

    I-Care isn’t new to COVID-19. As with most things public health, people seem to little idea how much work goes into keeping them healthy.


  20. - Tynie - Wednesday, Aug 11, 21 @ 3:22 pm:

    SAP, there may be an alternative for you. If you still have the card you got with that vaccine: take a pic of it with your phone. Save that, and stash the card at home. Pardon my rhyme, but if anyone asks: you did it to prevent card damage or loss.
    At least, that’s what I’d do.


  21. - illinifan - Wednesday, Aug 11, 21 @ 4:21 pm:

    Registered to see if my record had been updated as I was vaccinated in Arizona. I was exposed to COVID and the contact tracer took my vaccine information and said it would be entered into the ICare system. When I checked it was there.


  22. - Joe Bidenopolous - Wednesday, Aug 11, 21 @ 4:23 pm:

    = With an 11 1/2 year old set to go to school on Friday I want that shot in his arm sooner rather than later.=

    11 1/4 and school starts two weeks later but in the same boat - worried about her


  23. - tea_and_honey - Wednesday, Aug 11, 21 @ 5:58 pm:

    I got my shots at the National Guard run site in Carbondale and my records don’t show up in the IDPH site. On the other hand my mom who is a partial year resident of Florida and got her shots down there had her records show up.


  24. - skutt - Wednesday, Aug 11, 21 @ 7:13 pm:

    I got my second shot out of state because it was like the Hunger Games in Chicago to try and get a shot in early April (yes, I qualified, but my 2nd appointment got messed up) and now I have no way to prove to the state of Illinois I am fully vaccinated. I emailed IDPH and they responded that because the 2nd shot was out of state it is not recorded in the I-Care system.


  25. - EssentialStateEmployeeFromChatham - Thursday, Aug 12, 21 @ 5:27 am:

    I’m also not thrilled about Vax Verify requiring you to unfreeze your Experian credit report for 24 hours before you can finish registering your account. I permanently froze my credit after the 2017 Equifax breach as I don’t use credit cards or any sort of debt for about 13 years now. Wish there would have been a way not to use a credit monitoring agency with Vax Verify.


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