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Feds Working On Funding Deal For COVID Vaccines, Testing, Report Says

Officials are trying to reach the deal as federal funding has dried up for programs that ensured people could get tested and vaccinated for free.

Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines are administered by Jewel-Osco pharmacists to union workers at the IUOE Local 399 union hall ahead of Vice President Kamala Harris's visit to discuss vaccine rollouts and union work in Chicago on April 6, 2021.
Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago
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CHICAGO — Federal lawmakers could on Monday try to reach a deal on funding for COVID-19 vaccinations, testing and treatments.

The $10 billion funding package would focus solely on COVID-19 prevention and treatment options in the United States, according to The New York Times. Officials are trying to reach the deal as federal funding has dried up for programs that ensured people could get tested and vaccinated for free, regardless of their insurance status.

The end of that funding has led to health providers ringing alarm bells, as it’s no longer guaranteed people will be able to afford to get vaccinated or tested. They’ve warned that could lead to the virus spreading unchecked again.

But it’s not guaranteed the proposal being put forth Monday will have the support it needs to move forward, and the Senate and House will take a two-week recess after Friday, according to the Times report.

The $10 billion funding package is itself a stripped-down version of a previous proposal that would have also spent $5 billion on international vaccinations, COVID-19 treatments and other pandemic-fighting efforts. Local and international officials have said the world needs to focus on getting everyone vaccinated to save lives and reduce the chance of another concerning variant of COVID-19 developing.

Vaccinations:

• In Illinois, about 8.2 million people — or 64.4 percent of the state’s 12.7 million people — are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to state data.

• Across the state, 13,736 vaccine doses are being administered per day, based on a seven-day rolling average.

• Illinois and Chicago have administered at least 21,429,656 vaccine doses of the 25,903,945 provided to them.

• City data shows more than 1.8 million Chicagoans — or 68.6 percent of all residents — are fully vaccinated, and 77.4 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:

• Since Friday, six Illinoisans were reported dead from COVID-19.

• At least 33,400 people have died from COVID-19 in Illinois, and another 4,291 deaths are probably related to the virus, according to the state.

• The state reported 2,986 cases since Friday. That brings the total number of confirmed cases in Illinois up to 3,072,636.

• Since Friday, 161,892 tests were reported statewide. In all, 57,554,756 tests have been reported in Illinois.

• Illinois’ seven-day case positivity rate was at 1.9 percent. The figure represents the percentage of people testing positive among recent tests. It was at 1.7 percent Friday.

• Illinois’ seven-day test positivity rate, which measures the percentage of tests that were positive, was at 1.9 percent. It was at 1.7 percent Thursday.

• As of Sunday night, 64 people with COVID-19 were in the ICU and 27 people with COVID-19 were using ventilators in Illinois.

• In Chicago, no deaths were reported since Friday. There have been at least 7,333 deaths from COVID-19 in Chicago. The city is seeing an average of less than one person dying per day, down 29 percent from a week ago.

• Chicago has had 749 confirmed cases reported since Friday. It’s had a total of 566,983 confirmed cases. An average of 254 confirmed cases are being reported per day, up 33 percent from a week ago.

• Testing in Chicago is down 7 percent from a week ago.

• Chicago’s positivity rate was at 1.5 percent, up from 1 percent a week ago.

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