Pritzker doesn’t expect new mandates with updated COVID-19 vaccine on horizon

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Gov. JB Pritzker meets with attendees at City Market on Thursday, July 16, 2020, in Rockford, after his visit to promote the 2020 Census. [SCOTT P. YATES/ROCKFORD REGISTER STAR] Scott P. Yates/AP

Pritzker doesn’t expect new mandates with updated COVID-19 vaccine on horizon

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(The Center Square) – While the White House expects a new vaccine for the latest COVID-19 variant to come out sometime next month, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker doesn’t expect more COVID-19 mandates.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows a 21.6% increase in hospital admissions in the most recent week with a 21.4% increase in COVID-19 deaths. Over the weekend, President Joe Biden said he approved a proposal for more funding from Congress for a new vaccine.

“Tentatively, I’ve not decided finally yet, but tentatively it is recommended that it will likely be recommended that everybody get it no matter what they got before,” Biden said.

Shortly after becoming president in 2021, Biden mandated businesses over a certain size to require their employees be vaccinated. That was blocked by the U.S. Supreme Court, but a mandate for health care workers was allowed to stand.

Illinois, according to the CDC, is still a low transmission state. At an unrelated event Monday in Litchfield, Gov. J.B. Pritzker was asked if he’ll mandate a new vaccine for some state employees.

“The Facebook fakery about some kind of coming mandate, nobody has even talked about that. That’s not a real thing,” Pritzker said. “But what is a real thing is people need to take care of themselves and particularly those that are most vulnerable.”

Pritzker mandated COVID-19 vaccines for many positions, including school staff and college students and state employees in congregate settings, during the COVID-19 pandemic in his first term.

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said the Biden administration expects to recommend the updated vaccine, despite it not being available until sometime next month.

”We’re gonna continue to encourage Americans to get their updated vaccine, to stay updated on their vaccines more broadly, but also to make sure they get that RSV and to make sure they’re getting that flu shot,” Jean-Pierre said during a briefing.

Pritzker gave his understanding of the vaccine that will be available next month.

“Now you’ll be able to do it all in one shot, as I understand, there’ll be a combination of the COVID vaccine and the flu shot for people who want to do that,” Pritzker said.

Pritzker said despite what people read online, there is no discussion of bringing back certain mandates such as school closures or mask mandates as was the case more than three years ago at the onset of the pandemic.

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