(The Center Square) – Vice President Kamala Harris stopped in Illinois on Tuesday to join Democrats to urge people to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
The White House announced all adults in the country will be eligible for vaccines by April 19 rather than May 1. Illinois plans to open vaccine access to people age 16 and older starting Monday, but over 80 counties have already expanded eligibility.
“We see the light at the end of the tunnel because we’ve gone through so much as a nation,” Harris said.
After touring a vaccination site in Chicago, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin said the only way to bring an end to the pandemic is getting shots into arms.
“People are tired of it. I’m tired of it,” Durbin said. “We can’t break the back of this pandemic unless we push, push, push for more vaccinations. We saw that today. We need to see it across America.”
Also on Tuesday, Illinois health officials reported nearly 3,000 new coronavirus cases in the state. The seven-day average for total hospitalizations is nearly 1,500, the highest average since late February.
There have been 1,261,667 total cases, including 21,395 deaths in the state.
Illinois officials have announced the state will receive $124 million from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to expand its vaccination program. The CDC also asked Walgreens to start spacing first and second doses of the Pfizer vaccine three weeks apart instead of the initial four, which is in line with the agency’s guidance.
A total of 6,413,258 vaccinations have been administered statewide, with a daily average of 106,976 over the past seven days.