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As Vaccinations Slow In Chicago, Biden Urges People To Get Their Dose

Vaccinations have all but stalled locally — even though the more contagious Delta variant is being seen around Illinois.

President Joe Biden.
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CHICAGO — President Joe Biden is pushing for Americans to keep getting vaccinated against coronavirus as the number of people getting the shots has slowed nationally and in Chicago.

Biden, who visited suburban Crystal Lake on Wednesday, had hoped the United States would see 70 percent of all adults getting at least shot of a COVID-19 vaccine by Independence Day. The nation fell short of that goal — about 67 percent of adults nationally and in Chicago had gotten a shot by the holiday — but Biden has urged people to keep getting their shots.

“Please get vaccinated now — it works, it’s free, it’s never been easier,” Biden said Tuesday, according to The New York Times. “It’s never been more important. Do it now for yourself and the people you care about — for your neighborhood, for your country. It sounds corny, but it’s a patriotic thing to do.”

But locally, vaccinations have all but stalled.

Chicago’s officials understand they’re having to work much harder to get every shot in a person’s arm now than they were just a few months ago, Dr. Allison Arwady, head of the Chicago Department of Public Health, has said. This week, Arwady said the city’s now seeing fewer than 10,000 doses administered per day.

Vaccinations have especially lagged in communities of color on the South and West sides, and Arwady has said she fears those neighborhoods could be hit hard by COVID-19 in the fall and winter.

Officials have offered incentives like free concert tickets, hair cuts and grocery discounts to Chicagoans who get their shots. The state is hosting a lottery with multiple $1 million jackpots and scholarships for people who have gotten vaccinated. Mass vaccination sites have closed as officials focus on bringing doses directly to people at their workplaces, homes and community events.

On Wednesday, the White House said officials should be going door to door to get people vaccinated — something Chicago has started doing.

RELATED: All Chicagoans Can Now Get COVID Vaccinations At Home For Free — And They’ll Get $50 Gift Cards

But Illinois is seeing an average of just 17,771 doses administered per day as of Wednesday, a significant slowdown from the spring, when there were days when more than 150,000 doses were administered.

And as the more contagious Delta variant sweeps through the country and officials continue to reopen, daily new cases and positivity rates have crept up — including in Illinois and in Chicago, though the city has not been hit as hard as less-vaccinated places.

About 98 percent of recent cases, hospitalizations and deaths have been in people who haven’t gotten their shots, Arwady has said.

“The risks of vaccination are really low, and the benefits of vaccinations are very overwhelming,” Arwady said during a Tuesday livestream.


• In Illinois, about 6.2 million people of all ages — or 48.94 percent of the state’s 12.7 million people — have gotten all their COVID-19 vaccination shots, according to state data.

• Across the state, 17,771 vaccine doses are being administered per day, based on a seven-day rolling average.

• Illinois and Chicago have administered at least 12,718,580 vaccine doses of the 14,294,995 provided to them.

• City data shows more than 1.35 million Chicagoans — or 50.2 percent of all residents — have gotten fully vaccinated. About 56.3 percent of all Chicagoans have gotten at least one shot.

COVID-19 vaccinations are free and do not require insurance. Anyone can call the city’s coronavirus hotline at 312-746-4835 to get more information on how and where to get vaccinated in their community.

The numbers:

• Six Illinoisans were reported dead from COVID-19 since Tuesday.

• At least 23,278 people have died from COVID-19 in Illinois, and another 2,455 deaths are probably related to the virus, according to the state.

• The state reported 462 cases since Tuesday. That brings the total number of confirmed cases in Illinois up to 1,394,235.

• Since Tuesday, 26,832 tests were reported statewide. In all, 25,989,308 tests have been reported in Illinois.

• Illinois’ seven-day positivity rate was at 1.3 percent. The figure represents the percentage of people testing positive among recent tests. It was at 1.1 percent Tuesday.

• Illinois’ seven-day test positivity rate, which measures the percentage of tests that were positive, was at 1.6 percent. It was at 1.4 percent Tuesday.

• As of Tuesday night, 101 people with COVID-19 were in the ICU and 36 people with COVID-19 were using ventilators in Illinois.

• In Chicago, two deaths were reported since Tuesday. There have been at least 5,478 deaths from COVID-19 in Chicago. The city is seeing an average of less than one death per day, down from an average of one per day the week prior.

• Chicago has had 64 confirmed cases reported since Tuesday. It’s had a total of 286,268 confirmed cases. An average of 37 confirmed cases are being reported per day, unchanged from the prior week.

• At the same time, testing has decreased 36 percent since a week ago.

• Chicago’s positivity rate was at .8 percent, up from .5 percent the week prior.

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