More than 8 million COVID-19 vaccine shots have now gone into the arms of Illinoisans, state health officials announced Sunday, as Chicago prepares to expand eligibility to all adults, beginning Monday.
Since mid-December, Illinois has doled out 8,054,634 coronavirus vaccines, including another 115,330 doses Saturday.
Of that, just over 3,330,000 million people in Illinois are fully vaccinated, meaning two weeks removed from their final dose, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health’s website. That’s about 26% of the state’s population — well under the 80% needed for herd immunity.
Illinois boasts a seven-day rolling average of vaccines doled out daily of 125,146.
All residents 16 or older have been eligible for the vaccine since last week, with the exception of Chicago. City providers are set to expand eligibility to all adults, beginning Monday.
About 10,000 Chicago residents were vaccinated each day last week, according to city officials.
“I am encouraged by our increased vaccination rates, but we also continue to see a slow and persistent increase in COVID-19 case counts, especially among younger Chicagoans,” Chicago public health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said in a statement. “As we expand eligibility, we can increase vaccination for younger populations to slow the spread of the virus. Hopefully, our vaccine supply from the federal government will increase.”
In a statement, Mayor Lori Lightfoot encouraged Chicagoans to get vaccinated, while also calling for patience in getting an appointment because the city’s vaccine supply is still limited.
“Opening vaccine eligibility to all adults in Chicago is another important milestone in our goal of vaccinating everyone, and moving past the pandemic to reopen our city safely,” Lightfoot said.
Chicagoans can book appointments at zocdoc.com/vaccine or by calling (312) 746-4835. Residents can also use the city’s COVID-19 Vaccine Finder to identify additional vaccine providers, including Costco Pharmacies, CVS, Jewel Osco, Mariano’s and Walgreens, who handle their own scheduling.
For additional help finding an appointment, visit coronavirus.illinois.gov or call (833) 621-1284.
This vaccine news comes as Illinois has started to show signs that it could be rebounding from its third viral resurgence.
State health officials on Sunday reported 2,666 new coronavirus cases were diagnosed among the 70,106 tests processed by the Illinois Department of Public Health in the last day. That lowered the statewide seven-day positivity rate to 4%, a hopeful sign the virus’ spread is once again starting to slow in Illinois.
That metric, which experts watch closely to determine how rapidly the virus is spreading, had been on the rise since last month before peaking last Monday at 4.4%. It’s been on a gradual decline since.
Statewide, coronavirus hospitalizations have increased nearly 90% over the last month. As of Saturday night, 2,127 beds were occupied by COVID-19 patients, with 409 of those patients in intensive care units and 173 on ventilators, officials said.
The virus is still claiming an average of about 20 lives per day this month. State health officials reported an additional 10 virus-related deaths Sunday — half of which were recorded in the Chicago area.
That brings the state’s pandemic death toll to 21,633.