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Chicago Travelers Worry About Going Overseas As COVID Numbers Continue To Rise; 'It's Supposed To Be Fun, Not Anxiety Provoking'

CHICAGO (CBS) -- The  CDC's vaccine advisors just announced they are recommending Americans get the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines instead of the Johnson & Johnson shot.

The reason? The rare but potentially life-threatening blood clots linked to the J&J vaccine. The CDC must now decide whether to accept the advisory panel's recommendation.

In the last 24 hours, Illinois has confirmed more than 11,000 new cases of COVID. The last time the number that high was December first of last year.

CBS 2's Meredith Barack reports, with numbers like that, people are beginning to question their holiday plans. That's because we're not just seeing cases increase locally, but all across the globe.

At Loyola University Medical Center, they've seen a 300% increase in patients in its COVID ICU since the beginning of December. Cases are also on the rise in the UK, where Paula O'Connor and her family were supposed to fly to on Saturday.

O'Connor said they've visited her family there almost every Christmas for the past 15 years, but is concerned with what may happen should a family member test positive despite everyone being vaccinated.

If that were to happen, the family would get stuck there. She said it's been a difficult decision to make but she doesn't want to spend the whole trip worrying.

"The reason you you travel, I mean is obviously, to see people. But you know, it's supposed to be fun, not anxiety provoking," O'Connor said. "And then to that point, you're like, well, if you're going to be so anxious every day, is somebody going to test positive? Like we could just test every day. But then you know, it's is does that defeat the objective going?"

The chief medical officer at Loyola said you certainly shouldn't be traveling if you are unvaccinated, and you should avoid large public gatherings.


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