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CHICAGO — As the Delta variant continues to surge across the country, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is now urging pregnant people to get vaccinated.

The guidance comes following an uptick in severe COVID-19 cases among pregnant people, NPR reports. The CDC had previously said pregnant people could get vaccinated, but in a Wednesday announcement the agency said benefits of the vaccine outweigh any potential risks.

“COVID-19 vaccination is recommended for all people 12 years and older, including people who are pregnant, breastfeeding, trying to get pregnant now, or might become pregnant in the future,” the agency wrote. “There is currently no evidence that any vaccines, including COVID-19 vaccines, cause fertility problems in women or men.”

Pregnant and recently pregnant people are at an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 when compared with non-pregnant people, the CDC said. Those infected with COVID while pregnant also are at increased risk of premature birth “other adverse pregnancy outcomes.”

The recommendation comes as COVID cases soar across the country and vaccination rates among pregnant women are at just 23 percent, the New York Times reported. Previously, the CDC suggested making vaccines available to pregnant people but stopped short of recommending them.

Though pregnant women were not part of vaccine trials, the agency said early data on how pregnant people and newborns reacted to the vaccine was reassuring. No safety concerns were found for pregnant people who were vaccinated or their babies, and research showed COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy might help protect babies against against the virus as well.


• In Illinois, about 6.5 million people of all ages — or 51.06 percent of the state’s 12.7 million people — have gotten all their COVID-19 vaccine shots, according to state data.

• Across the state, 23,631 vaccine doses are being administered per day, based on a seven-day rolling average.

• Illinois and Chicago have administered at least 13,410,497 vaccine doses of the 15,177,465 provided to them.

• City data shows more than 1.44 million Chicagoans — or 53.7 percent of all residents — have gotten fully vaccinated. About 58.9 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:

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

• At least 23,551 people have died from COVID-19 in Illinois, and another 2,497 deaths are probably related to the virus, according to the state.

• The state reported 3,933 cases since Tuesday. That brings the total number of confirmed cases in Illinois up to 1,451,094.

• Since Tuesday, 61,435 tests were reported statewide. In all, 27,464,864 tests have been reported in Illinois.

• Illinois’ seven-day positivity rate was at 5.1 percent. The figure represents the percentage of people testing positive among recent tests. It was at 4.8 percent Tuesday.

• Illinois’ seven-day test positivity rate, which measures the percentage of tests that were positive, was at 5.7 percent. It was also at 5.7 percent Tuesday.

• As of Tuesday night, 311 people with COVID-19 were in the ICU and 145 people with COVID-19 were using ventilators in Illinois.

• In Chicago, one death was reported since Tuesday. There have been at least 5,536 deaths from COVID-19 in Chicago. The city is seeing an average of more than three deaths per day, a 156 percent increase from the week prior.

• Chicago has had 446 confirmed cases reported since Tuesday. It’s had a total of 293,926 confirmed cases. An average of 362 confirmed cases are being reported per day, a 44 percent increase from the week prior.

• At the same time, testing has increased 27 percent since a week ago.

• Chicago’s positivity rate was at 3.8 percent, up from 3.4 percent the week prior.

Free Vaccine Event Thursday

Chicagoans can get vaccinated against coronavirus and they’ll get $25 at an event Thursday.

The Park District is hosting Queering the Parks Thursday at Ping Tom Memorial Park, 1700 S. Wentworth Ave. People who attend can get vaccinated 3-6:30 p.m. — and they’ll receive $25 in return.

Johnson & Johnson doses will be available for adults. Kids who are younger than 18 can get their first Pfizer shot, though they’ll need a parent or guardian with them. Walk-ups are welcome. Registration is available online but is not required.

The vaccines are free and do not require insurance. They have been shown to largely prevent serious illness and death from COVID-19.

Thursday’s event will also have a fashion show, resource fair, DJs, art-making stations, HIV and STI testing and information about job and housing opportunities, according to the Park District website.

Officials are encouraging people to get vaccinated so they can be best protected against COVID-19. The Delta variant, which is surging in Chicago and across the country, has had the biggest impacted on unvaccinated people.

Any Chicagoan can also get vaccinated at home and get a $25 gift card.

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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