Coronavirus (COVID-19) Newsletter — September 24, 2021

September 24, 2021  |  View as a webpage  |  Translate

COVID-19 Update

Vaccine Update

vaccine update English

Booster Authorized for Limited Groups 

On Wednesday, September 22, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized a booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for certain fully Pfizer vaccinated individuals. The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) met on Thursday, September 23, and released a statement aligning with the FDA recommendations. 

The CDC has recommended that the following groups should consider receiving a booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine: 

  • Individuals age 65 and older
  • Residents in long-term care settings
  • Individuals ages50–64 years with underlying medical conditions 

The CDC recommends that the following groups may consider receiving a booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine based on their individual benefits and risks: 

  • Individuals ages 18–49 years with underlying medical conditions
  • Individuals ages18-64 years who are at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of occupational or institutional settings such as: 
    • health-care workers, teachers, grocery store employees and other essential workers.

If you believe you may qualify for a booster, we encourage you to speak with your healthcare provider.  

Please keep in mind that those who received both doses of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine series or the single dose of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine are still highly protected from severe illness, hospitalization, and death from COVID-19.  

Only those that received and completed the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine series have been authorized to receive a booster dose if they fall into one of the categories listed above. Those that received the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine have not been authorized to receive a booster at this time. A booster for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine can be given at least six months after the completion of the initial two-dose series. More information can be found on the CDC’s COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Shot page. 

Lake County Health Department community and mobile vaccination sites will continue to provide first and second doses. If you have not yet received your COVID-19 vaccine, now is a great time to do so and we highly recommend that you do! 


Pfizer and BioNTech Plan to Seek COVID-19 Vaccine Authorization For Children ages 5-11 

On Monday, September 20, Pfizer and BioNTech announced results from the trial of their COVID-19 vaccine in children ages 5-11 years old. They found that the vaccine was safe, well-tolerated, and effective. The dose for children ages 5-11 years old is smaller (10 micrograms) than the dose given to those 12 and older (30 micrograms). The trial results are based on administering two doses, 21 days apart. Pfizer and BioNTech plan to submit the data to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) soon. In the meantime, they will continue to accumulate safety and efficacy data required to file for full FDA approval in this age group. 

Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine trials for children under 5 years old are in progress and they expect results as soon as later this year.  

Read the full Pfizer and BioNTech Press Release for more information. We will provide updates as they become available. 

Johnson & Johnson  

Johnson & Johnson announced new data supporting that their COVID-19 vaccine continues to provide strong and long-lasting protection against COVID-19 hospitalization and death. New data also showed an increase in protection against COVID-19 when a booster shot is administered. Johnson and Johnson tracked two different timeframes for boosters, two months and six months after the single shot. Johnson & Johnson reported that a booster dose given two months after the single shot increased the efficacy from 74% after the single shot to 94% after the booster. A booster shot given six months after the single shot found that protection increased nine-fold one week after the booster and continued to climb to 12-fold higher four weeks after the booster. 

More information will be forthcoming in the next few months. 

Read the full Johnson & Johnson announcement 

Mobile Vaccination Sites

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Mobile vaccination sites are located throughout Lake County. Locations and hours are posted weekly on our Facebook and Instagram page. You can register in advance on the AllVax Portal or walk-in during the hours listed. 

COVID-19 Vaccine Myth vs. Fact

MYTH: Getting the COVID-19 vaccine gives you COVID-19.

FACT: You cannot get COVID-19 from the vaccines. The authorized COVID-19 vaccines do not contain the live virus. The COVID-19 vaccines teach the immune system how to recognize and fight the virus if it is introduced to your body.

MYTH: The COVID-19 vaccine can affect fertility.

FACT: There is no evidence that the COVID-19 vaccines cause fertility problems or infertility in either females or males. Pregnant people are more likely to become severely ill if they get COVID-19 compared to non-pregnant people. Getting vaccinated against COVID-19 protects from severe illness.

MYTH: The COVID-19 vaccines were developed too fast to be safe.

FACT: The technology used to develop the COVID-19 vaccines have been in development for many years. Worldwide collaboration, new technology, and funding meant that the vaccines could be developed faster. Each approved and authorized vaccine has gone through rigorous clinical trials and reviews before being authorized for the public.

MYTH: I already had COVID-19 and I have recovered, so I don’t need to get a COVID-19 vaccine.

FACT: People who already had COVID-19 should still get vaccinated. Experts do not yet know how long you are protected from getting sick again after recovering from COVID-19. If you were treated for COVID-19 with monoclonal antibodies, you should wait 90 days before getting a COVID-19 vaccine.

MYTH: The COVID-19 vaccines don’t work because you can still get COVID-19 after vaccination.

FACT: COVID-19 vaccines are very effective at preventing severe illness and death. A small number of people may still get COVID-19 if they are exposed. Those who are vaccinated and get COVID-19 tend to have a more mild infection than those who are not vaccinated. 

Lake County at Orange Risk Level

orange warning level

Lake County continues to be in the ‘orange’ risk level based on metrics from the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). The ‘orange’ risk level means that Lake County continues to see an increase in COVID-19 cases and a decrease in ICU bed availability. This is determined using the IDPH County Level Risk Metrics Map. This risk level is meant to help individuals and families make choices about activities and gatherings.

Following the recent Executive Order, everyone must wear a mask while in indoor public settings regardless of vaccination status. Wearing a mask indoors will help to slow the spread of COVID-19.  

We urge our community to continue to be cautious and get vaccinated as soon as possible. Getting vaccinated against COVID-19 offers a high level of protection against severe illness and death. During times of increased community transmission it is especially important to follow the 3 Ws: Wear a mask, Wash your hands, and Watch your distance.   

North Chicago Health Center and Respiratory Illness Clinic Temporary Relocation


The North Chicago Health Center has temporarily closed for renovations that started on September 20th. North Chicago Health Center will reopen in the Spring of 2022. We are making major building changes to better serve our patients when they visit us for their care. Improvements coming include:

  • More welcoming patient exam rooms, lobby and waiting areas
  • A new dental exam room
  • Improved patient care flow
  • Improved access for wheelchairs and strollers

All North Chicago Health Center providers and staff have been relocated to Belvidere Medical Building (BMB) in Waukegan during construction. North Chicago Health Center patients will receive the same healthcare services at BMB that they received at North Chicago Health Center.

Additionally, the Respiratory Illness Clinic has also relocated to BMB. For more information visit the Health Department Service Modifications and Closures page.

Hepatitis Awareness Event

Hep English

COVID-19 is still very much with us, and it is important to not neglect regular healthcare. Join our free community event happening Wednesday, September 29 at 18 N. County Street, Waukegan! The Lake County Health Department and Community Health Center is committed to increasing Hepatitis awareness, especially Hepatitis C, by reducing stigma, promoting prevention, and providing treatment. 

Individuals will be offered appointments for screening and testing for Hepatitis C, and referrals for vaccination for Hepatitis A and B. We will be promoting health and personal wellness as well as offering other important resources during the event. 

Date: Wednesday, September 29, 2021  

Time: 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.   

Location: 18 N. County Street, Waukegan, IL 60085 

Visit the CDC’s Know More Hepatitis page for information and resources about Hepatitis.  

This event is in partnership with Abbvie, Walgreens, YWCA Lake County, and Prairie State Legal Services 

Lake County COVID-19 Data

  • As of September 24, 2021, over 817,800 vaccine doses have been administered to Lake County residents and 401,873 residents (57.34% of the population) have been fully vaccinated.
  • Over 87.2% of Lake County seniors ages 65 and older and 69.5% of those age 18-64 have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • The county is averaging 947 doses administered per day on a 7-day rolling average.
  • As of September 24, 2021, 69,715 Lake County residents have tested positive for COVID-19, including 1,064 deaths.

View the Lake County, IL Coronavirus Data Hub 

COVID-19 Testing

If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or have been exposed to someone who has it, getting tested can help you know what steps to take to keep your loved ones safe. 

Where can I get tested?   

Contact your doctor to ask about testing availability, or check the Lake County Testing Site Locator for options.   

State-run Community-Based Testing Sites located in Waukegan (102 W. Water St.), Arlington Heights (823 Wilke Rd.), and Rockford (1321 Sandy Hollow Rd.)  are open Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. Testing is free and open to all regardless of symptoms. These sites have drive-through testing, as well as walk-up testing for those who do not have a vehicle or need to use public transportation. Please note, you are not permitted to exit your car to use the walk-up line once you arrive. 

Know Before You Go 

A phone number and name are required in order to receive testing results. Photo identification and proof of insurance are helpful, but not required. High demand for testing may result in long wait times. Testing locations may close early due to inclement weather or if daily testing supplies are exhausted. Additional COVID-19 testing locations and information can be found at the IDPH website. 

If you were recently tested at a mobile COVID-19 testing site and you have not been contacted within 7 days, please call 888-297-7208 or visit 

3 Ws Graphic - Lake County Health Department - English

Who to Contact if You Have Questions

Do you have questions? The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has established a COVID-19 hotline and email address to answer questions from the public:

For additional information from the IDPH, visit:

COVID-19 Resources

Lake County AllVax Portal Resources

Visit our AllVax Frequently Asked Questions page to find answers and information about the COVID-19 vaccine in Lake County. Encourage members of the community to register in AllVax utilizing resources from the AllVax Portal Toolkit, including social media messages, guides, print materials, and more. 

Community Guidance and Resources

Protect yourself and your community. Our Community Guidance and Resources page has information to help residents stay safe and informed.

Public Health Navigator Program 

If you or someone you know is struggling with meeting their health and other needs, the Lake County Health Department is here to help! We have two new teams of Case Managers and Community Health Workers dedicated to helping community members access and utilize the resources and support they need, including:      

  • COVID-19 vaccine education and sign-up 
  • Access to medical care    
  • Health education and support    
  • Food and medicine delivery for families in quarantine and isolation    
  • Transportation assistance for medical visits    
  • Access to food support    
  • Rent and utility assistance    
  • Mental health support    
  • Immigration support   
  • And more!   

All services are available, regardless of your insurance or immigration status. To get connected, call (847) 3778444 or email

Get Involved

Join the Medical Reserve Corps

The Lake County Health Department is in need of volunteers with a valid medical license to fill roles as vaccinators, vaccine mixers, and wellness check observers at our mass vaccination sites. Visit our Lake County Medical Reserve Corps page to learn more.

Become a Community Health Ambassador

Community Health Ambassadors play a key role in helping our community members get vaccinated by sharing resources, answering FAQs, and encouraging community members to register on AllVax. Visit the Community Health Ambassador page for more information and to register.

Additional Ways to Help

Visit Lake County Health Departments How You Can Help page to find additional opportunities to donate or volunteer.

Useful Links

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