CHICAGO — The city’s Vaccination Awareness Day on Friday saw the most COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in six months, with more than 20,000 given, Chicago’s top doctor said Tuesday.
Chicago Public Schools canceled classes, and the city gave workers two hours paid leave to get vaccinated and take kids to get their shots, hoping that would boost the number of people protected against the virus. It went “beautifully,” said Dr. Allison Arwady, head of the Chicago Department of Public Health.
The event saw the most vaccine doses delivered in a day since May 15.
“Not only did we break a record for all vaccinations — where we look at youth vaccinations, we had more than 8,300 first doses of youth vaccine on the 12th,” Arwady said at a news conference.
As of Monday, 30,144 Chicagoans 5-11 have gotten their first vaccine dose. That’s about 16.7 percent of the estimated 210,844 kids living in the city.
And the city’s averaging 3,222 first doses given to kids 5-11 every day, exceeding “the rate of early vaccine uptake that we saw in other age groups,” Arwady said.
Kids can get vaccinated at pediatrician’s offices, CPS sites, events, pharmacies and other spots. There are about 200 areas around Chicago where youth vaccines are available, and about 127,000 doses of youth vaccine have come to the city, Arwady said.
Arwady and other officials said getting kids and other people vaccinated now is key as cases are rising elsewhere in the Midwest and families are preparing to gather for Thanksgiving and other holidays. People who want to be fully vaccinated Christmas must get their first shot by Saturday.
Getting kids vaccinated now could also help them for the rest of the year, as CPS does not require fully vaccinated children to quarantine — which would keep them out of school — if they’re exposed to someone with the virus.
As of Tuesday, more than 4,000 kids are in quarantine in CPS, district CEO Pedro Martinez said. And for every high school student quarantined, the district is quarantining 14-15 younger kids, since that age group is less vaccinated, he said.
“You getting your children vaccinated is the No. 1 thing you can do to help not disrupt their education,” Arwady said.
Martinez said the district will now work with principals, teachers and others to understand what concerns parents have about the vaccines and to connect them to events where their children can be inoculated.
The vaccines have been shown to be safe and effective, Arwady said: 99.99 percent of fully vaccinated Chicagoans have not died from COVID-19, and 98.9 percent of vaccinated Chicagoans haven’t even tested positive for the virus.
More than 3.5 million doses have been administered in Chicago, and no one has died from the vaccine, Arwady said.
• In Illinois, about 7.29 million people — or 57.27 percent of the state’s 12.7 million people — are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to state data.
• Across the state, 62,654 vaccine doses are being administered per day, based on a seven-day rolling average.
• Illinois and Chicago have administered at least 16,485,223 vaccine doses of the 19,554,045 provided to them.
• City data shows more than 1.6 million Chicagoans — or 60.2 percent of all residents — are fully vaccinated, and 66.9 percent of all Chicagoans have gotten at least one shot.
Everyone 5 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.
• Twenty Illinoisans were reported dead from COVID-19 since Monday.
• At least 26,137 people have died from COVID-19 in Illinois, and another 2,917 deaths are probably related to the virus, according to the state.
• The state reported 3,005 cases since Monday. That brings the total number of confirmed cases in Illinois up to 1,747,513.
• Since Monday, 77,035 tests were reported statewide. In all, 37,414,978 tests have been reported in Illinois.
• Illinois’ seven-day case positivity rate was at 2.8 percent. The figure represents the percentage of people testing positive among recent tests. It was at 2.7 percent Monday.
• Illinois’ seven-day test positivity rate, which measures the percentage of tests that were positive, was at 3.4 percent. It was at 3.3 percent Monday.
• As of Monday night, 325 people with COVID-19 were in the ICU and 132 people with COVID-19 were using ventilators in Illinois.
• In Chicago, five deaths were reported since Monday. There have been at least 5,953 deaths from COVID-19 in Chicago. The city is seeing an average of more than two people dying per day, up 57 percent from a week ago.
• Chicago has had 365 confirmed cases reported since Monday. It’s had a total of 334,994 confirmed cases. An average of 403 confirmed cases are being reported per day, up 10 percent from the week prior.
• Testing in Chicago is down 5 percent since a week ago.
• Chicago’s positivity rate was at 2.5 percent, up from 2 percent the week prior.
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