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February 9, 2021
COVID-19 Vaccine Update
COVID-19 vaccination efforts are ramping up throughout Lake County! As you begin to hear more about vaccinations and availability, please keep in mind that demand far exceeds supply. The City will continue to keep you updated on the vaccine rollout in Lake County in Tuesday eNews and at cityhpil.com/vaccine.

News this week:
  • The first case of the COVID-19 variant originally identified in the United Kingdom has been reported in Lake County. The Lake County Health Department reported that this asymptomatic case was linked to international travel. Dr. Sana Ahmed, medical epidemiologist at LCHD, urges anyone returning from travel to follow quarantine guidelines and get tested for COVID-19.
  • Free COVID-19 testing will be available this upcoming Friday, February 12, 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM at the Highland Park Country Club.
  • Opt-in on AllVax to share your information with other healthcare providers in Lake County, including hospitals and pharmacies, which will eventually be offering the vaccine. Learn more.
  • While the CDC has determined that a shortened, 10-day quarantine period is possible if the individual does not develop symptoms, LCHD continues to urge residents who may have been exposed to COVID-19 to complete a 14-day quarantine if possible.
Recent Questions
Why are there so many different places to get vaccinated?
The AllVax Portal is provided by the Lake County Health Department. Pharmacies, such as CVS and Walgreens, are operating independently. This is why the Lake County Health Department urges all Lake Country residents to register with AllVax and to pursue opportunities for vaccination at retail pharmacies, hospitals, or doctors' offices. The AllVax system will update if you receive a vaccine from an affiliate provider such as CVS.

Where can I find vaccination sites to check for appointments?
The State of Illinois has created an interactive map of locations offering vaccine appointments. While vaccine supply remains low, please check back at participating sites near you. Appointments may open (and fill) quickly.

Is the City providing vaccinations?
No, vaccines are being distributed through local health departments and vaccination partners, such as pharmacies and hospital systems. The Lake County Health Department is the primary vaccinator for our area, supported by area hospitals, pharmacies, and medical groups. As vaccine inventories increase, vaccines will be more widely available at convenient locations such as retail pharmacies, doctors' offices, and state-run clinics.

Who can help me register for the AllVax portal?
For help registering with AllVax, reach out directly to the Lake County Health Department at 847.377.8130. LCHD is currently experiencing extremely high call volume. Please consider reaching out via email instead of by phone to AllVax@lakecountyil.gov.

How can I help?
Consider volunteering - in a medical or non-medical role - with the Lake County Medical Reserve Corps. Volunteer by emailing HLHealthEM@lakecountyil.gov or calling 847.377.8186.

If I received my first dose elsewhere (another provider, state, etc.) can I get my second dose through the Lake County Health Department?
Yes. Please register on the AllVax portal at allvax.lakecohealth.org. LCHD recommends that you try to get your second dose through the same provider that gave you the first dose. Please know that vaccine supply is limited, and you may not be able to schedule your appointment for the second dose immediately. 

When will Lake County begin vaccinating individuals 65+ at the Lake County Fairgrounds?
LCHD has reported that vaccinations of individuals 65+ will begin at the Lake County Fairgrounds the week of February 15, 2021 on a limited basis as vaccinations are completed for individuals within group 1A. Appointments will be opening for the Lake County Fairgrounds site in the order that individuals registered within the AllVax system. Individuals registered in AllVax who are 65+ will receive an email from AllVax when an appointment is available.
COVID-19 Update from
Highland Park Hospital
Vaccines and emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants are making headlines.

SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2) is the virus that causes COVID-19. Multiple variants of the virus have been detected around the world, including in the US.

These variants are found to be more transmissible, meaning more people could get infected. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), early reports indicate that these variants have not had any impact on the severity of the virus or the effectiveness of currently authorized vaccines.

Lakshmi Halasyamani, MD, Chief Medical Officer at NorthShore, recently discussed both the rollout of the vaccine for NorthShore patients who are 65+ and these new variants of the COVID-19 virus in Episode 11 of NorthShore's COVID Community Update.

While waiting for the vaccine, it's important to remain diligent in adhering to best practices to protect yourself and others by wearing a mask, washing your hands, and maintaining a social distance of six feet: Mask Up, Wash Up and Back Up.

For the most up-to-date information, visit NorthShore.org.

The City greatly appreciates the partnership of NorthShore University HealthSystem in providing these regular updates for our Tuesday eNews.
Upcoming Webinars
February 16, 2021, 6:00 PM; Register here
Join Dr. Lakshmi Halasyamani, Chief Medical Officer at NorthShore University HealthSystem for a virtual session to learn about the COVID-19 vaccine including how it works, the latest safety data and common misconceptions, and how you can prepare for the vaccine. Attendance is free, but registration is required to receive the Zoom link. Click here to learn more and to register.
Lake County Health Department events:

Presented by AACPG Lake County
Thursday, February 11, 6:00 - 7:00 PM; Facebook Live
Black residents throughout Lake County are invited to participate in a discussion about the COVID-19 vaccine in the Black Community with local health care professionals. Presented by the African-American Community Partners Group of Lake County (affiliated with the Lake County Health Department.)

Wednesday, February 17, 5:30 PM; Zoom
In addition to this town hall regarding the COVID-19 vaccine, the ACL will also host a special event for community leaders interested in becoming Community Health Ambassadors on February 12 at noon; registration is required.
Scam Alert
Vaccine scams are proliferating online and should be reported to the Federal Trade Commission. The COVID-19 vaccine will be free to all. Authorized vaccinators will not ask for personal information like your bank account or credit card details.
CDC Fact Sheet:
COVID-19 Variants
General information regarding the new COVID-19 variants is emerging rapidly. The CDC is regularly updating a fact sheet about these new variants as information becomes available.

Highlights include:
  • Viruses change constantly through mutation, so variants are expected to occur. The CDC and public health agencies around the world monitor changes in the virus.
  • There are three major variants that were identified last fall and have subsequently been detected in the US: B.1.1.7 (the UK variant), B.1.351 (the South African variant), and P.1 (the Brazilian variant.) These are denoted colloquially by the location where they were first identified.
  • You do not need to have traveled to any of these locations or to have been in contact with anyone who's traveled out of the country to be exposed to one of these variants. These variants have all been detected in the United States.
  • These variants appear to spread more easily and quickly. This could increase cases of COVID-19.
  • Studies are underway to gauge the efficacy of antibodies generated through vaccination against these variants.
  • The CDC is working to identify how widely these variants have spread, whether the variants cause any notable changes in disease, and how they may affect existing therapies, vaccines, and tests.

Sourcing:

The City of Highland Park does not have its own health department. The information in this email is derived from the Lake County Health Department, the Illinois Department of Public Health, and the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. Questions pertaining to the distribution, scheduling, or administration of the vaccine should be directed to the Lake County Health Department. The City does not schedule appointments for or administer COVID-19 vaccines.
COVID-19 Resources