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Biden Gets COVID-19 Booster Shot While Encouraging Other Eligible People To Get Theirs

People can get booster shots through their primary care provider and at CVS pharmacies.

Lakeview Pantry client Yolanda Delgado receives her first dose of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at the vaccination site next to Wrigley Field on April 5, 2021.
Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
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CHICAGO — President Joe Biden got his coronavirus booster shot Monday in a public display to encourage other eligible Americans to get their shots.

People 65 and older, people with underlying medical conditions and certain frontline workers are now eligible to get a booster shot. A third shot is currently only available to people who got Pfizer doses and who have had at least six months pass since their second shot.

Booster shots for people who got Moderna and Johnson & Johnson doses have not yet been approved, though Moderna’s boosters are expected to be approved for eligible groups in coming weeks.

People can get booster shots through their primary care provider and at CVS pharmacies.

“Boosters are important,” Biden said. “But the most important thing we need to do is get more people vaccinated. The vast majority of Americans are doing the right thing.”

Dr. Allison Arwady, head of the Chicago Department of Public Health, said last week more people could become eligible for booster shots as more data becomes available. Breakthrough cases remain rare, she’s said, and the city’s biggest priority is still vaccinating unvaccinated folks to drop the risk of COVID-19 spread for everyone.

The United States’ rush to administer booster shots has proven divisive. Some experts have said boosters should be saved for people most at risk — like people whose immune systems are severely compromised — while the bulk of doses go to countries where far fewer people are vaccinated.

The World Health Organization has said booster programs in wealthier countries could keep doses out of the hands of lower-income countries, which are struggling to get doses to vaccinate people. That could, in turn, fuel the emerge of more dangerous variants of COVID-19, experts have said.

Others have said officials’ main priority should be on getting initial shots into the arms of unvaccinated people.

Last week, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said she’d get a booster shot once she is eligible for one.

Vaccinations:

• In Illinois, about 7 million people — or 55.06 percent of the state’s 12.7 million people — have gotten all their COVID-19 vaccine shots, according to state data.

• Across the state, 20,827 vaccine doses are being administered per day, based on a seven-day rolling average.

• Illinois and Chicago have administered at least 14,486,090 vaccine doses of the 17,212,225 provided to them.

• City data shows more than 1.55 million Chicagoans — or 57.6 percent of all residents — are fully vaccinated, and 62.8 percent of all Chicagoans have gotten at least one shot.

Everyone 12 and older is eligible to get vaccinated in Chicago.

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:

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

• At least 24,860 people have died from COVID-19 in Illinois, and another 2,669 deaths are probably related to the virus, according to the state.

• The state reported 6,671 cases since Friday. That brings the total number of confirmed cases in Illinois up to 1,618,800.

• Since Friday, 317,474 tests were reported statewide. In all, 31,510,243 tests have been reported in Illinois.

• Illinois’ seven-day positivity rate was at 2.5 percent. The figure represents the percentage of people testing positive among recent tests. It was at 2.7 percent Friday.

• Illinois’ seven-day test positivity rate, which measures the percentage of tests that were positive, was at 3.2 percent. It was at 3.7 percent Friday.

• As of Sunday night, 461 people with COVID-19 were in the ICU and 243 people with COVID-19 were using ventilators in Illinois.

• In Chicago, seven deaths were reported since Friday. There have been at least 5,757 deaths from COVID-19 in Chicago. The city is seeing an average of more than three deaths per day, down 24 percent from a week ago.

• Chicago has 860 had confirmed cases reported since Friday. It’s had a total of 316,174 confirmed cases. An average of 412 confirmed cases are being reported per day, a 14 percent decrease from the week prior.

• Testing in Chicago has increased 14 percent since a week ago.

• Chicago’s positivity rate was at 2.9 percent, down from 3.1 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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