U of I team investigates spread of rural misinformation

URBANA – In some rural Illinois ZIP codes, only one in five people have gotten the COVID-19 vaccine. A lack of correct information seems to play a major role. A team at the University of Illinois is investigating how misinformation about COVID-19 spreads in rural areas of the state. U of I journalism professor Nikki […]

The FDA authorizes Moderna and J&J COVID vaccine boosters

WASHINGTON — The Food and Drug Administration authorized booster doses of the COVID-19 vaccines made by Moderna and Johnson & Johnson following unanimous votes by a committee of independent advisers backing the boosters last week. In a related decision, the FDA also authorized boosters that differ from the vaccine originally used to immunize a person […]

Exhausted hospital workers face ongoing COVID-19 hospitalizations

DES MOINES — On the eighth floor of Iowa Methodist Hospital in downtown Des Moines, 56-year-old Russell Braley watched daytime TV in one of the recovery units, breathing through a tube running from his nose to an oxygen unit. “I’ve been in motorcycle wrecks. I’ve almost died several times in my lifetime. This was the […]

90 percent of OSF HealthCare employees fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as mandate takes effect

PEORIA — Ninety percent of OSF HealthCare’s more than 24,000 employees system wide are vaccinated against COVID-19. The organization required employees to get vaccinated or obtain an exemption by the end of September. An OSF spokesperson says the healthcare system has granted both religious and medical exemptions from vaccination requirements. Those employees are subject to […]

What you need to know about COVID-19 booster shots

CARBONDALE — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have authorized COVID-19 booster shots for certain Pfizer recipients. But what exactly does that mean for individuals who received the Pfizer vaccine? Side Effects Public Media reporter Steph Whiteside spoke with Bart Hagston, the administrator of the health department […]

Immunocompromised People Produce Fewer Antibodies When Vaccinated, May Need Boosters

ST. LOUIS — As new coronavirus infections continue to climb and fast-spreading variants sweep the U.S., millions of Americans with autoimmune diseases are at risk. Patients with these chronic conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus, often take medications that tamp down on their immune response — rendering some vaccinations less effective. New research from […]

Pfizer’s COVID Vaccine Gets Full Approval From The FDA

WASHINGTON — The Food and Drug Administration has formally approved Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine. The widely anticipated decision replaces the emergency use authorization granted by the agency last December.Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images This is the first COVID-19 vaccine to be subject to a full review by the U.S. regulator and to get an approval […]

COVID Booster Shots Are Coming. Here’s What You Need To Know

WASHINGTON — Health officials are preparing to roll out COVID-19 booster shots in the United States this September. According to a plan announced Wednesday, all U.S. adults who received a two-dose vaccine would be eligible for an additional jab of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine eight months from when they got their second one. “These […]

COVID-19 Booster Shots Will Roll Out In September In The U.S.

Updated August 18, 2021 at 11:35 AM ET WASHINGTON — COVID-19 booster shots of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are set to become available for all U.S. adults beginning next month, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said in a statement. “Based on our latest assessment, the current protection against severe disease, hospitalization, […]

Why A Hard-Sell Pitch For COVID Vaccines Won’t Work In This Rural Illinois Town

CAIRO, Ill. — Lee Wright was hard at work, constructing a nail salon near the abandoned hospital in Cairo, Ill., when Jody Johnson stopped by to introduce himself on a recent afternoon. Johnson, who works for the University of Illinois Extension program, chatted with Wright casually in the summertime heat. For Johnson, it was the […]

FDA Authorizes Third COVID-19 Dose For People With Weakened Immunity

WASHINGTON — The Food and Drug Administration is authorizing an additional dose of a COVID-19 vaccine for certain people with weakened immune systems caused either by disease, medical treatments or organ transplants. The move comes after studies have shown these people may not have sufficient immunity to head off the more serious complications of COVID-19 […]

From Free Pizza To Free Tuition, Colleges Try Everything To Get Students Vaccinated

WASHINGTON — In late July, Jeremiah Monteiro, a rising sophomore at Purdue University, got a surprise visit from his school’s mascot. The black and yellow train, known as the Boilermaker Special, pulled up to Monteiro’s family home in Naperville, Ill., and Purdue officials presented the sophomore with a Willy Wonka-inspired golden ticket worth $9,992, the […]

Carle Health Adopts COVID Vaccine Requirement For Staff

URBANA — Carle Health has announced it will require staff to get the COVID vaccine or face tougher safety measures. The mandate applies to staff at all Carle Health facilities. The Urbana-based health care system made the announcement Friday and said the new policy takes effect immediately. Carle Health also didn’t rule out a more […]

With A COVID-19 Vaccine For Kids Months Away, St. Louis Doctor Has Advice For Parents

ST. LOUIS — More children and adolescents are testing positive for the coronavirus in the U.S., with the number of new weekly infections quadrupling since late June. In Missouri, where more than 61,000 children and adolescents have tested positive for the virus and five have died from COVID-19 since the onset of the pandemic, infections […]