COOK COUNTY - The president got his updated Covid-19 booster Tuesday as the White House launched a new campaign to encourage others to do the same.
"My message to folks is that you had some protection in the past, and it's served you well. This is the protection you need for right now," said Dr. Cameron Webb, White House Senior Advisor for COVID-19 Response.
Twenty-million Americans have gotten the booster that targets Omicron, but about 230 million are eligible. With a winter surge expected, Dr. Webb says it's time to get it done.
"People overwhelmingly are saying they plan to get these vaccines. It's really a matter of us saying then don't wait," Dr. Webb added.
"All the other boosters are kind of out of school now. The only booster that matters is the new booster that's specified for omicron," said Dr. Lamar Hasbrouck, chief operating officer, Cook County Department of Public Health.
Cook County experts brought out the ghosts and pumpkins Tuesday morning, warning of a scary season ahead, especially with low numbers of vaccinations.
"I fully expect to see an explosion of influenza, RSV, COVID and other respiratory viral illness this fall and winter," said Dr. Sharon Welbel, director of hospital epidemiology and infection control Cook County Health.
Now that we've dropped precautions like masks and social distancing, the flu and RSV are returning. Then, when holiday gatherings begin, COVID is expected to join in.
This is what some are calling a "Tripledemic."
"Flu activity is increasing. In fact, we look influenza-like illnesses and those are trending up, including something called RSV, for both adults and children," said Dr. Hasbrouck.
While the spread of Covid remains low in Cook County, health officials are encouraging everyone to get "Boo-sted" and their flu shot by Halloween.
"As health professionals, I think we can say we are concerned," said Dr. Gregory Huhn, interim chair of infectious disease and vaccine coordinator Cook County Health
The numbers from suburban Cook County show why this vaccination push is happening. About 70% of people got those first two COVID shots. Only 9% have received the updated booster so far.