Illinois health officials announced 2,035 new cases of COVID-19 and 24 related deaths Sunday.
- 6:49, the much talked about new development in the fight against the pandemic. Federal agencies have lifted the pause on the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. There was a link to rare, but serious blood clots.
The US has also reached 32 million confirmed cases. To talk about that more as Dr. Chris Colbert from the Emergency Medicine Residency program at UIC is with us live this morning. Doctor, good morning.
- Darrel, good morning.
- Nice to have you here with us this morning. What do you think about the Johnson and Johnson vaccine being back in the mix?
- So Darrel, this is very positive news. What has happened in place is that since the identified challenges with this specific vaccine, the advisory committees, as well as other [INAUDIBLE] have had a conversation, looked at the data, and very robust. They identify that there's a way to acknowledge these changes and challenges, as well as provide comfort, and confidence, and not overshadow the benefit of this Johnson and Johnson vaccine. So allowing us to return to utilizing Johnson and Johnson vaccine and providing that to the community is huge. They are also introducing factsheets, new, updated factsheets for not only patient, caregivers, and recipients to assist in the confidence and the introduction of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine again.
- We're at a point now, too, where you can just walk into any mass vaccination site in Cook County, and now, just get a vaccine. That starts tomorrow. It started in Chicago over the weekend. If you listen to public health officials, I was listening to one earlier in the hour. They're saying, hold on for just a little while longer. With what we're hearing now about just being able to walk in and get a shot, where do you think we are now, doc, in this pandemic?
- Again, I think this is just a positive reflection of where we are, and how we've evolved in managing these concerns. And I always highlight that at this time, last year, we were at a place, where we were just offering ideas, where now, we have concrete options. Not just one vaccine, but three vaccines, which can offer the community a really great outcome. And I recommend with everyone to walk in these clinics, to speak with their physicians, and to be a part of that positive place that we can be as a community. So that we can return back to a normal state for where we are.
- Speaking of speaking to physicians, doctor, this is the last time that we're going to be speaking to you for a while. We know that you're going to be deployed. Where you headed, and what are you doing?
- Well, I'm going out of the country, and as with most opportunities going out of the country within the military, I am in the Army. In fact, I have a huge and a wonderful resource of not only working with some of the best minds in medicine, but also, working with the best minds outside the country. So Honduras, Colombia, El Salvador are some of the places, where I'll be going and assisting in the medical management of those individuals in that country. COVID has affected a lot of places. And just not outside the United States.
And sometimes, the gravity of that [INAUDIBLE] can really see it. So to effect a positive change not only in the United States, but outside of the United States is a huge gift. And I look forward to it.
- Well, doctor this is the first time I've had a chance to talk to you. It's been a pleasure. I know you've been doing this every weekend for a while now. We are so grateful to you, and your guidance, and your service to others in this country. Certainly, best to you in this next endeavor. We really appreciate it. Thank you.
- Thank you.
- I'm going to miss you, and a quick reminder here. As we continue to learn more about COVID and vaccines, you can always find the latest information. We've got it all for you on our website 24 hours a day, abc7chicago.com/coronavirus.