Credit: Chicago Department of Public Health

CHICAGO — The FDA has granted full approval to Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine for people 16 and older.

The move, which was announced Monday, spurred various businesses, schools, government agencies and other organizations to require workers to get vaccinated. United Airlines, which is headquartered in Chicago, is mandating workers get fully vaccinated now that a vaccine has gotten full approval.

The approval comes after Pfizer submitted data to the FDA showing its vaccine is 91 percent effective at preventing COVID-19 infection, according to The New York Times.

The move comes as the United States is struggling with another wave of COVID-19 fueled by the more contagious Delta variant. The federal government plans to roll out a booster campaign next month for people who got Pfizer and Moderna doses to help them stay protected against the virus.

Local health officials cheered on the move in social media Monday.

“If you’ve been waiting for this approval to get the vaccine, now is the time,” the city’s health department wrote in a tweet.

Dr. Allison Arwady, head of the Chicago Department of Public Health, urged people to get vaccinated, as well.

“This is GREAT news in the fight against COVID-19,” Arwady wrote on Twitter. “If you have been waiting for this approval to get vaccinated, please go NOW. This is further reassurance it’s safe and effective.”

Children 12-15 can still get vaccinated with Pfizer doses, though the vaccine is still officially only authorized for emergency use for people in that age group.


• In Illinois, about 6.7 million people — or 52.56 percent of the state’s 12.7 million people — have gotten all their COVID-19 vaccine shots, according to state data.

• Across the state, 23,635 vaccine doses are being administered per day, based on a seven-day rolling average.

• Illinois and Chicago have administered at least 13,813,317 vaccine doses of the 15,796,935 provided to them.

• City data shows more than 1.47 million Chicagoans — or 54.7 percent of all residents — are fully vaccinated. About 60.2 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:

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

• At least 23,761 people have died from COVID-19 in Illinois, and another 2,514 deaths are probably related to the virus, according to the state.

• The state reported 9,213 cases since Friday. That brings the total number of confirmed cases in Illinois up to 1,491,582.

• Since Friday, 194,693 tests were reported statewide. In all, 28,267,390 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 5.3 percent Friday.

• Illinois’ seven-day test positivity rate, which measures the percentage of tests that were positive, was at 5.9 percent. It was at 6.1 percent Friday.

• As of Sunday night, 487 people with COVID-19 were in the ICU and 239 people with COVID-19 were using ventilators in Illinois.

• In Chicago, four deaths were reported since Friday. There have been at least 5,584 deaths from COVID-19 in Chicago. The city is seeing an average of more than two deaths per day, an 11 percent increase from the week prior.

• Chicago has had 1,312 confirmed cases reported since Friday. It’s had a total of 299,478 confirmed cases. An average of 473 confirmed cases are being reported per day, a 25 percent increase from the week prior.

• At the same time, testing has increased 3 percent since a week ago.

• Chicago’s positivity rate was at 4.7 percent, up from 3.9 percent the week prior.

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