CPS students walk through the halls at Lake View High School on July 13, 2021. Credit: Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago

CHICAGO — Officials are urging parents to get kids 12 and up vaccinated against coronavirus before school starts.

Chicago Public Schools will see students return to in-person learning when class resumes Aug. 30. To be fully protected against COVID-19 by then, a student needs to get the first dose of the two-shot Pfizer vaccine no later than July 26.

Kids 12 and older have been approved to get the Pfizer vaccine. About 34 percent of Chicagoans 12-17 years old are fully vaccinated, and 45.3 percent have gotten one dose of a vaccine, according to city data.

The city’s health department encouraged parents and guardians to get kids vaccinated as part of their “back to school checklist” on Monday. Similarly, on June 22, Dr. Allison Arwady, head of the health department, said she encourages people — including her family and friends — to get kids 12 and older vaccinated.

Research has shown COVID-19 tends to be less severe in children, but there have been more than 30,000 cases found in Chicagoans 17 and younger — and 601 kids have been hospitalized from the virus, with three dying.

The vaccines can offer protection — including against new variants like Delta — for children and their communities, officials have said. The city and CPS have tried to make it easier for kids to get their shots by opening vaccination clinics at some schools and hosting events in the neighborhoods.

Earlier this month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention called for schools to fully reopen, but it suggested local districts be allowed to craft COVID-19 safety policies that fit the needs of their communities.

The city has a free online calendar showing events, pop-ups and more where people can go to get vaccinated.

Chicagoans can also get vaccinated at home for free. Sign up online at Chicago.gov/athome or by calling 312-746-4835.


• In Illinois, about 6.3 million people of all ages — or 49.97 percent of the state’s 12.7 million people — have gotten all their COVID-19 vaccine shots, according to state data.

• Across the state, 20,628 vaccine doses are being administered per day, based on a seven-day rolling average.

• Illinois and Chicago have administered at least 12,969,499 vaccine doses of the 14,485,035 provided to them.

• City data shows more than 1.38 million Chicagoans — or 51.3 percent of all residents — have gotten fully vaccinated. About 57.3 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:

• Twenty Illinoisans were reported dead from COVID-19 since Friday.

• At least 23,377 people have died from COVID-19 in Illinois, and another 2,464 deaths are probably related to the virus, according to the state.

• The state reported 2,817 cases since Friday. That brings the total number of confirmed cases in Illinois up to 1,402,763.

• Since Friday, 93,308 tests were reported statewide. In all, 26,386,287 tests have been reported in Illinois.

• Illinois’ seven-day positivity rate was at 2.4 percent. The figure represents the percentage of people testing positive among recent tests. It was at 1.9 percent Friday.

• Illinois’ seven-day test positivity rate, which measures the percentage of tests that were positive, was at 2.8 percent. It was at 2.3 percent Friday.

• As of Sunday night, 107 people with COVID-19 were in the ICU and 38 people with COVID-19 were using ventilators in Illinois.

• In Chicago, five deaths were reported since Friday. There have been at least 5,493 deaths from COVID-19 in Chicago. The city is seeing an average of one death per day, a 17 percent increase from the week prior.

• Chicago has had 423 confirmed cases reported since Friday. It’s had a total of 287,405 confirmed cases. An average of 70 confirmed cases are being reported per day, a 68 percent increase from the week prior.

• At the same time, testing has increased 16 percent since a week ago.

• Chicago’s positivity rate was at 1.2 percent, up from .8 percent the week prior.

Block Club Chicago’s coronavirus coverage is free for all readers. Block Club is an independent, 501(c)(3), journalist-run newsroom.

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