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Illinois Vaccine Doses To ‘Soar’ In Coming Weeks, Gov Says — And 3 Million Shots Already Given

More than 20 percent of Illinoisans 16 and older have gotten their first shot of vaccine — and that rises to 44 percent among Illinoisans 65 and older, Gov. JB Pritzker said.

Bertha Arina receives her COVID-19 vaccine from Ilse Vega, a nurse practitioner from Esperanza, in Chicago's Gage Park neighborhood in February.
Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
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CHICAGO — More than 3 million doses of coronavirus vaccine have been administered in Illinois, Gov. JB Pritzker said Thursday.

More than 20 percent of Illinoisans 16 and older have gotten at least their first shot of vaccine — and that rises to 44 percent among Illinoisans 65 and older, Pritzker said.

“That’s great progress, but there is much more work to be done,” Pritzker said at a news conference. “What a relief it will be when we get everyone vaccinated and everyone can know that they’re safe from this virus.”

There’s still a shortage of vaccine around the United States, Pritzker said, but “vaccine availability is set to soar in the coming weeks.” Federal officials told state leaders they’d soon be able to provide 18 million doses per week, he said, and Illinois expects to get about 100,000 doses per day by mid-March.

At the same time, the city’s health chief, Dr. Allison Arwady, said the mass vaccination site at the United Center has already booked more than 13,000 appointments. Still, tens of thousands more are available.

And earlier in the week, Arwady said good news is on the horizon.

“By late spring, we are gonna be in a place where I think there will be plenty of vaccine,” she said Wednesday.

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The state is administering an average of 78,942 vaccine doses per day, based on a seven-day rolling average. As of midnight Thursday, Illinois and Chicago had administered at least 2,663,215 vaccine doses of the 3,563,775 directly provided to them.

More than 562,000 doses of vaccine have been administered to Chicagoans.

Another 330,328 vaccines have been administered in long-term care facilities, which have been provided with 443,700 doses. Those vaccinations are done through a federal partnership with pharmacy chains.

All together, at least 2,993,543 vaccine doses have been administered in Illinois out of 4,007,475 doses provided to state entities.

About one in seven Illinoisans has received their first shot, Gov. JB Pritzker said Friday. Still, the state lags behind others — and Illinois is last in the nation for second doses administered.

One in eight Chicagoans has now gotten their first shot of a vaccine, Arwady said Wednesday. That number rises to one in three Chicagoans among people 65 and older.

Arwady said she’s pushing for the state to send more doses to Chicago and the surrounding area since 38 percent of the city’s doses have gone to non-residents. She said rural areas in the state are currently more vaccinated than parts of Chicago.

In comparison, about 21 percent of Chicago residents who have been vaccinated got their shot outside the city.

Illinois and Chicago are vaccinating people 65 and older and frontline workers as part of Phase 1B of the vaccination campaign. Illinoisans who are eligible are able to make appointments to get vaccinated at pharmacies, their health provider’s office, state-run mass vaccination sites and other places.

The state is also vaccinating people with underlying conditions or disabilities, though Chicago has not added people with underlying conditions or disabilities to its current round of vaccinations.

RELATED: Here’s How You Can Get Vaccinated Against Coronavirus In Chicago

The state is peeling back some of its coronavirus safety restrictions as regions get their outbreaks more under control. Chicago is now in Phase 4, the phase when the state’s restrictions are at their most relaxed before a full return to normalcy.

The city has released a roadmap detailing what metrics it will use to lift restrictions from businesses as it gets better control of its COVID-19 outbreak.

Hopefully, restrictions will be raised during the next few months, Arwady previously said, “but we’re still at a point where we need to be careful.”

Another 42 Illinoisans were reported dead from coronavirus during the past day, and the most recent victims included 11 people from Cook County, including two men in their 50s.

At least 20,668 people have died from COVID-19 in Illinois, and another 2,234 deaths are probably related to the virus, according to the state.

The state reported 1,740 confirmed cases during the past day. That brings the total number of confirmed cases in Illinois up to 1,193,260.

At the same time, a more contagious variant of the virus from the United Kingdom has been found in Chicago.

That means people are still at risk and will have to continue taking precautions for much of 2021, officials have said. People should keep wearing a mask, staying socially distant, washing their hands frequently, not gathering, not traveling and not having people into their home, experts have said.

“If you’re gonna be out, please just wear the mask, keep practicing caution,” Arwady said Thursday. “The risk gets lower with every additional person who gets vaccinated.”

Illinois’ seven-day positivity rate held at 2.4 percent Thursday with 73,990 tests reported. The figure represents the percentage of people testing positive among recent tests.

Illinois’ seven-day test positivity, which measures the percentage of tests that were positive, held at 2.9 percent Thursday.

As of Wednesday night, 1,200 people were hospitalized with coronavirus in Illinois, including 260 people in the ICU and 128 people using ventilators.

In Chicago, four deaths and 559 confirmed cases were reported since Wednesday. There have been at least 4,902 deaths from COVID-19 in Chicago and 246,224 confirmed cases, according to state data.

The city is seeing an average of six deaths per day, down from an average of seven deaths per day the week prior. That’s the lowest that figure has been in months, Arwady said last week. During the peak of the second, fall surge in the pandemic, nearly 25 people per day were being killed by COVID-19; during the peak of the first surge in the spring, nearly 50 people were killed per day.

An average of 287 confirmed cases are being reported per day, a 9 percent increase from the previous week. At the same time, testing has increased by 10 percent.

The city’s seven-day positivity rate is at an all-time low of 2.9 percent, down from 3 percent the week before.

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