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Sunday, May 16, 2021

Quarter of Illinois’ population fully vaccinated

State announces college vaccination days

SPRINGFIELD — Nearly one quarter of the state’s population is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to data released Friday by the Illinois Department of Public Health.

With more than 3.18 million state residents fully vaccinated, the percentage of fully vaccinated Illinoisans has reached 24.95 percent as of Thursday.

The state has administered 7,779,290 doses of the vaccine out of more than 9.7 million total doses received by state and local health officials.

On Thursday, 166,885 vaccine doses were administered, for a seven-day average of 129,664 doses.

The vaccination milestone came after IDPH announced on Tuesday the state will pause distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine developed by Johnson & Johnson, following the advice of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The federal agencies made that recommendation after reporting rare and severe blood clots in six women aged 18-48, whose symptoms occurred 6 to 13 days after vaccination, according to the CDC. More than 6.8 million Johnson & Johnson vaccine doses have been administered nationwide.

On Friday, IDPH also announced dates and sites throughout the state that will offer vaccination appointments specifically for college and university students, in an effort to vaccinate college students in Illinois.

Mass vaccination sites in Adams, Cook, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Lake, Madison, Sangamon, St. Clair, Winnebago and Will counties will provide appointments for college students on specific dates from April 17 to April 20.

Colleges and universities will have the links where students can register for an appointment, according to the IDPH news release.

“College campuses are microcosms of the communities in which they are located, and if we see an increase in cases on campus, we will see an increase in cases in the community,” IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said in the release.  “Especially as we are starting to see variants become more prevalent and the number of cases and hospitals increasing statewide, we need to vaccinate as many people as possible as quickly as possible.”

As the state’s vaccination rate increases, the number of new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 has also been on the rise this month.

New COVID-19 cases this month have exceeded 2,000 to 3,000 cases daily, compared to last month when new and probable COVID-19 cases fell to between 1,000 to 2,000 daily.

Hospitalizations due to COVID-19 have also increased relative to last month. Statewide data shows the percentage of hospital beds used by COVID-19 patients have reached between 4 and 6 percent of the total number of beds while that percentage was between 3 and 4 percent in March.

On Friday, the state announced 3,866 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 out of 93,602 test results reported over the previous 24 hours, bringing the statewide seven-day rolling positivity rate to 4.2 percent. The seven-day rolling positivity rate has held steady at 4.2 percent since Wednesday.

The state also reported a total of 2,058 individuals were hospitalized with COVID-19 as of Thursday night, an increase of 15 people from the day prior.

Of those, 468 patients were in the intensive care unit, which was unchanged from the previous day, and 205 were on ventilators, which was a 15-person increase from the previous day.

There were 21 COVID-19 related deaths reported Friday, bringing the state death toll to 21,630.

Capitol News Illinois is a nonprofit, nonpartisan news service covering state government and distributed to more than 400 newspapers statewide. It is funded primarily by the Illinois Press Foundation and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation.

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