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Saturday Is Last Day To Get 1st Moderna, Pfizer Vaccine Shot If You Want To Be Fully Protected By Christmas

The state is rolling out an awareness campaign where they'll encourage families to get vaccinated as the "greatest gift" someone can give.

Elizabeth Soto smiles at her son, Alex, 7, before he receives his first COVID-19 vaccine dose at Esperanza Health Centers, 6057 S. Western Ave., on Nov. 4, 2021.
Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
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CHICAGO — The state is encouraging families to get vaccinated against COVID-19 for the holidays.

For weeks, local, state and federal officials have pushed people to get their shots — whether it be the original vaccines or a booster — to ensure there’s not a post-holiday surge. Cases are already on the rise in the upper Midwest, including Chicago.

Now, the state of Illinois is rolling out an awareness campaign where they’ll encourage families to get vaccinated as the “greatest gift” someone can give, according to a Governor’s Office news release.

“Vaccines work and are our best way to protect ourselves and those closest to us as we celebrate the holidays,” Dr. Ngozi Ezike, head of the Illinois Department of Public Health, said in a news release. “We’ve all gone through a lot over the last two years, and being fully vaccinated gets us one step closer to once again celebrating our cherished traditions. Getting your life-saving shot is the greatest gift you can give this holiday season.”

The Governor’s Office released guidance for people who plan to gather for the holidays. People should delay traveling until they’re fully vaccinated; those who aren’t vaccinated should test before and after travel, according to the recommendations.

People are also advised to keep indoor gatherings small, open windows and doors for increased air flow and arrange chairs and other areas to allow for physical distance.

You can read all the guidance online.

It’s too late to be fully protected in time for Thanksgiving, but people should still get a vaccine shot or booster so they have at least some protect, Dr. Allison Arwady, head of the Chicago Department of Public Health, has said.

Arwady has said she’s not worried about people gathering for the holidays if people have gotten vaccinated and gotten their booster shots — but she is concerned about families who gather with unvaccinated people.

“I worry that as these holidays are coming, we’re going to see more of a surge,” she said earlier this month.

Here’s a holiday vaccination schedule:

  • Thanksgiving (Thursday): It’s too late to get a vaccine and be fully protected in time for the start of Thanksgiving, but officials have urged people to still get vaccinated so they’ll have some protection.
  • Hanukkah (Nov. 28-Dec. 6): It’s too late to get a vaccine and be fully protected in time for the start of Hanukkah, but officials have urged people to still get vaccinated so they’ll have some protection.
  • Christmas (Dec. 25): If you want a two-shot vaccine, you must get your first shot by Saturday to be fully vaccinated in time for Christmas. You have until Dec. 11 if you want the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
  • Kwanzaa (Dec. 26-Jan. 1): If you want a two-shot vaccine, you must get your first shot by Sunday to be fully vaccinated in time for Kwanzaa. If you want Pfizer, you must get the first shot by Nov. 20. You have until Dec. 11 if you want the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Vaccinations:

• In Illinois, about 7.3 million people — or 57.43 percent of the state’s 12.7 million people — are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to state data.

• Across the state, 62,142 vaccine doses are being administered per day, based on a seven-day rolling average.

• Illinois and Chicago have administered at least 16,691,850 vaccine doses of the 19,782,015 provided to them.

• City data shows more than 1.6 million Chicagoans — or 60.4 percent of all residents — are fully vaccinated, and 67.4 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.

The numbers:

• Thirty-seven Illinoisans were reported dead from COVID-19 since Thursday.

• At least 26,227 people have died from COVID-19 in Illinois, and another 2,930 deaths are probably related to the virus, according to the state.

• The state reported 5,720 cases since Thursday. That brings the total number of confirmed cases in Illinois up to 1,763,866.

• Since Thursday, 176,441 tests were reported statewide. In all, 37,895,788 tests have been reported in Illinois.

• Illinois’ seven-day case positivity rate was at 3.2 percent. The figure represents the percentage of people testing positive among recent tests. It was at 3 percent Thursday.

• Illinois’ seven-day test positivity rate, which measures the percentage of tests that were positive, was at 3.5 percent. It was at 3.8 percent Thursday.

• As of Thursday night, 350 people with COVID-19 were in the ICU and 152 people with COVID-19 were using ventilators in Illinois.

• In Chicago, 11 deaths were reported since Thursday. There have been at least 5,975 deaths from COVID-19 in Chicago. The city is seeing an average of more than three people dying per day, up 30 percent from a week ago.

• Chicago has had 849 confirmed cases reported since Tuesday. It’s had a total of 337,323 confirmed cases. An average of 514 confirmed cases are being reported per day, up 18 percent from the week prior.

• Testing in Chicago is down 4 percent since a week ago.

• Chicago’s positivity rate was at 2.7 percent, up from 2.2 percent the week prior.

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