CHICAGO — Illinois has vaccinated more people against COVID-19 than any other state.
Already, more than 100,000 people have been vaccinated across Illinois, more than in any other state — even larger ones like Texas and California, Gov. JB Pritzker announced Wednesday.
“The vaccine team in Illinois sprinted past them all in Week 1,” Pritzker said at a coronavirus update.
In Chicago, more than 16,000 people have been vaccinated so far, according to city data.
The state will get another 23,400 doses of the Pfizer vaccine this week, and Chicago will get 15,600 doses, Pritzker said. Moderna vaccine doses, newly approved federally, are coming, too: Illinois will get 174,600 doses while Chicago will get 48,000 this week.
Pritzker said he does expect certain states to eventually surpass Illinois’ number of people vaccinated since there are more populated states.
Vaccinations started last week in Illinois. They’re first being given to health care workers and people living and working in long-term care facilities, in line with what federal agencies have recommended.
After that, people 75 and older and certain frontline workers will be prioritized for vaccines.
For the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, everyone needs two doses a little less than a month apart. People should not mix which vaccines they get, Pritzker said.
Officials have cautioned it will be months before vaccines are widely available. Dr. Allison Arwady, head of the Chicago Department of Public Health, said she doesn’t expect vaccines to be available to the public until later in the spring or summer.
That means people are still at risk and will have to take precautions, like staying socially distant and wearing a mask, for much of 2021, officials have said.
The state’s officials are also urging people to celebrate their holidays virtually.
Still, the availability of vaccines has led to renewed hope, as officials believe people getting vaccinated will eventually lead to the end of the pandemic.
Block Club Chicago’s coronavirus coverage is free for all readers. Block Club is an independent, 501(c)(3), journalist-run newsroom.