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COVID for Healthcare Providers

Healthcare Providers are a critical part of the COVID-19 Response. Together we have made important progress in vaccinations and boosters in suburban Cook County. However, community transmission levels are still too high. See our Shiny app for the most updated data on COVID-19 case and vaccination rates.
The Cook County Department of Public Health (CCDPH) is committed to an equitable distribution of COVID-19 resources, including vaccinations, testing, PPE, and treatment. See below for updated information on resources for healthcare providers.

COVID-19 Vaccination

Bivalent COVID-19 Booster Approval

On August 31, 2022 FDA amended the emergency use authorizations (EUAs) of the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine and the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine to authorize bivalent formulations of the vaccines for use as a single booster dose at least two months following primary OR at least two months following monovalent booster vaccination. Official CDC approval followed after the ACIP meeting, so administrations can start as soon as providers have the vaccine in hand.

ORDERING IN ICARE IS OPEN! Pfizer is available in increments of 300 and Moderna increments of 100. Questions re I-CARE issues should go to: [email protected]

The Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine, Bivalent, is authorized for use as a single booster dose in individuals 18 years of age and older. The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, Bivalent, is authorized for use as a single booster dose in individuals 12 years of age and older.

The FDA has also revised the EUA of the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine and the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine to remove the use of the monovalent Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines for booster administration for individuals 18 years of age and older and 12 years of age and older, respectively. These monovalent vaccines continue to be authorized for use for administration of a primary series for individuals 6 months of age and older as described in the letters of authorization. At this time, the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine remains authorized for administration of a single booster dose for individuals 5 through 11 years of age at least five months after completing a primary series of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine.

Novavax Update

As of August 22, Novavax is approved for individuals 12 and up. The Novavax COVID-19 vaccine uses protein subunit technology that has been used for more than 30 years in the United States, beginning with the first licensed hepatitis B vaccine. Having multiple types of vaccines offers more options and flexibility for the public and vaccine providers. Novavax is currently available to order in I-CARE.

Updated CDC Guidance

CDC will continue to post updated COVID-19 vaccine guidance on their website. Of note, CDC recommends coadministration of the seasonal influenza vaccine and any of the COVID-19 vaccines, including the bivalent booster. CDC also encourages increased use of Evusheld to compliment COVID-19 vaccination in patients with moderate to severe immunocompromise.

Entities that are interested in becoming a COVID-19 Vaccine Provider should follow the steps below:

  • Register in I-CARE (Illinois Comprehensive Automated Immunization Registry Exchange)
    • Vaccine for Children (VFC) providers: Enroll to become a COVID-19 vaccine provider within I-CARE under the COVID tab/Enrollment. Complete both the CDC and IDPH COVID-19 Vaccine Provider Agreements.
    • Non-VFC providers: If you do not already have I-CARE access, request it. The I-CARE enrollment packet can be found HERE. Once enrolled in I-CARE, access the COVID tab to complete both the CDC and IDPH COVID-19 Vaccine Provider Agreements.
    • Questions about your ICARE or COVID PIN should be directed to [email protected]
  • Order Vaccine
    • You are encouraged first to request vaccine transfer from another facility (or offer up your own extra vaccine) through the state’s transfer program here: Vaccination Transfer Request
    • For direct shipments from the manufacturer, order directly in I-CARE. You must be able to order in the appropriate increments.
    • Cook County Department of Public Health offers pickup from the Oak Forest location in increments as low as one vial (e.g. for those who are not able to order in the increments available through I-CARE). Click HERE to fill out this survey to start requesting vaccine from CCDPH.
    • For questions, please email: [email protected]
  • Review Interim Clinical Considerations for Use of COVID-19 Vaccines Currently Approved or Authorized in the United States regularly to stay up to date on current CDC guidance.

Additional Resources:

COVID-19 Treatment

Overview of Current COVID-19 Treatments

There are currently four available treatment options (Paxlovid, Bebtelovimab, Remdesivir and Molnupiravir) for mild to moderate COVID-19 illness for non-hospitalized people. These options can also lower the chance of progression to severe illness, hospitalization, and death.

CCDPH and the Illinois Dept of Public Health continue to encourage providers to assess their patients quickly (within five days of symptom onset) after they have been identified as having COVID-19 to determine if they are eligible for treatment. Prescriptions can be directly sent to our federal pharmacy partners (Walgreens, Walmart, CVS, Meijer) as well as several community pharmacies listed in the treatment locator.

Please refer to the NIH Clinical Decision Aid for providers to use as an easy reference guide for treatment. Please note that IDPH does not manage allocations for Remdesivir, which is commercially available, and so cannot be requested through IDPH. Remdesivir is currently the only outpatient treatment option for children under the age of 12 years.

Here are some additional resources that you can use with your patients:

  1. Communicable Disease Data & Reports
  2. For the most up-to-date treatment guidelines please visit: COVID-19 Treatment Guidelines (nih.gov)
  3. To locate doses of COVID-19 treatments in your area, please visit the IDPH Outpatient Therapy locator
  4. To directly request doses of COVID-19 treatments use the IDPH request form
  5. If you have questions, please contact IDPH at [email protected] or call 800-889-3931
  6. Paxlovid Providers Checklist
  7. Paxlovid Drug Interaction Chart

Treatment Webinars:

February 17th, 2022: Outpatient COVID-19 Therapeutics

View the CCDPH COVID-19 Treatment Webinar recorded on February 17th featuring information on improving knowledge of current outpatient treatment options.

*Please note that dosing recommendations may have been updated since the original taping of this presentation so be sure to refer to updated FDA EUA announcements related to administration of these agents.

April 7th, 2022: Outpatient COVID-19 Therapeutics Update

In case you missed it, the COVID-19 Treatment Webinar:

View the Webinar recorded on April 7th featuring information on improving knowledge of current outpatient treatment options focusing on indications and access.

COVID-19 Testing

Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) that receive operational funding through HRSA’s Health Center Program are eligible for direct shipments. Eligible FQHCs should be able to request a supply of Quidel tests by following the instructions provided by HRSA. This is the same process and online platform that is used to request vaccines.

Hospitals and First Responders should request tests directly from IDPH by emailing [email protected]

Long term care facilities can email [email protected] and request to be added to the direct distribution list.

CCDPH’s Rapid Antigen Test Request Program

CCDPH is distributing the rapid point-of-care tests (BinaxNOW™ and iHealth™ COVID-19 tests) to organizations for use in suburban Cook County. CCDPH is prioritizing distribution of rapid point-of-care tests to vulnerable and high-risk populations based on COVID-19 surveillance data for suburban Cook County, CCDPH’s COVID-19 Community Vulnerability Index, and State and Federal guidance. This includes congregate settings (e.g. long-term care facilities and shelters), schools, and areas with a lower testing capacity. CCDPH no longer distributes these tests to private organizations per the direction of the Illinois Dept of Public Health (IDPH).

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Requests

Cook County Department of Public Health Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Request Form

Please use this form to request personal protective equipment (PPE) at no charge from the Cook County Department of Public Health. Once your request is submitted, please allow up to 6 weeks for processing. You will be notified via email once your order is ready for pick up. Please note that requests are never guaranteed and CCDPH will inform you of the amount of PPE you will receive in your confirmation email. If you have any questions, please contact [email protected]

Summary of PPE Request Process:

  1. Your organization submits request to CCDPH online via this survey
  2. CCDPH processes request (please allow up to 6 weeks for processing)
  3. CCDPH emails your organization point of contact listed with instructions for PPE pick up. It will include a date and time reserved for your pick up at CCDPH Oak Forest location
  4. Person(s) designated to pick up PPE from your organization will need to come to CCDPH in Oak Forest during the designated day/time given and (a) should show confirmation email on phone or printed out and (b) must load own vehicle (should be able to lift 15-50 lbs) and (c) all items must be gathered during pick up, we are unable to accommodate multiple pick-ups at this time.

Updated September 2, 2022, 5:38 PM