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More Than 4 Million COVID Vaccine Doses Have Now Been Administered In Illinois

The milestone came Sunday, just days after Gov. JB Pritzker said all Illinois adults will likely be eligible by May.

Veronica Figuroa of Southwest Organizing Project receives her COVID-19 vaccine from Shay Facey, nurse practitioner from Esperanza, in Chicago's Gage Park neighborhood on Feb. 19, 2021.
Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
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CHICAGO — More than 4 million doses of coronavirus vaccine have been administered in Illinois as of this weekend.

The milestone came Sunday, just days after Gov. JB Pritzker said the state is now getting about 100,000 doses per day provided by the federal government, allowing it to increase vaccinations. Pritzker said Friday he thinks all Illinoisans will be eligible by May.

“I feel very confident moving forward that supplies are increasing,” Pritzker said. “… I’m confident that not just by May 1 but maybe even a little bit earlier we could open up to everyone in the state, everyone that’s eligible.”

More doses are coming to the city, too. April will be “much bigger” for Chicago in terms of vaccinations — and May will see even more than that, Dr. Allison Arwady, head of the Chicago Department of Public Health, said during a Thursday livestream.

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The state is administering an average of 97,441 vaccine doses per day, based on a seven-day rolling average. Illinois and Chicago have administered at least 3,685,888 vaccine doses of the 4,623,735 directly provided to them.

More than 741,000 doses of vaccine have been administered in Chicago.

Another 354,414 vaccines have been administered in long-term care facilities, which have been provided with 414,900 doses. Those vaccinations are done through a federal partnership with pharmacy chains.

All together, at least 4,040,302 vaccine doses have been administered in Illinois out of 5,038,635 doses provided to state entities.

Arwady said she’s pushing for the state to send more doses to Chicago and the surrounding area since 35-40 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.

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But the pandemic’s impact continues: Another 42 Illinoisans were reported dead from coronavirus during the weekend.

The most recent victims included 19 people from Cook County, including two men in their 40s and seven people in their 50s.

At least 20,943 people have died from COVID-19 in Illinois, and another 2,263 deaths are probably related to the virus, according to the state.

The state reported 3,159 confirmed cases over the weekend. That brings the total number of confirmed cases in Illinois up to 1,209,331.

Deaths and new cases have dropped after a fall peak, and the state’s and city’s positivity rates are at their lowest-ever points. Arwady said the city’s metrics are dropping, though she’s still concerned about the number of cases per day being reported in Chicago.

“But, generally, the numbers are looking really good,” Arwady said. Deaths are “heading in the right direction.”

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.

Pritzker said he and the state’s experts are looking at what restrictions they can roll back, but they need to judge that against the continuing risks of the pandemic — especially since more contagious variants of the virus have been found in Illinois.

“We’re getting closer every single day to the end of this pandemic, but we’re not there yet,” Pritzker said Tuesday.

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.

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 earlier this month. “The risk gets lower with every additional person who gets vaccinated.”

Illinois’ seven-day positivity rate fell slightly to 2.2 percent Sunday with 65,028 tests reported. It was at 2.3 percent Friday. 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 2.6 Sunday.

As of Saturday night, 1,141 people were hospitalized with coronavirus in Illinois, including 238 people in the ICU and 94 people using ventilators.

In Chicago, 14 deaths and 663 confirmed cases were reported since Friday. There have been at least 4,952 deaths from COVID-19 in Chicago and 249,247 confirmed cases, according to state data.

The city is seeing an average of four deaths per day, down from an average of five deaths per day the week prior. That’s the lowest that figure has been in months, Arwady previously said. 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 276 confirmed cases are being reported per day, relatively unchanged from the previous week. At the same time, testing has decreased by 1 percent since a week ago.

The city’s seven-day positivity rate is at 2.8 percent, unchanged from the week before.

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