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Illinois Coronavirus Updates: State Administers 8M Vaccines, Chicago Eligibility to Expand

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Illinois health officials crossed a major milestone Sunday in the fight against COVID-19, administering over 8 million doses of the vaccine.

Meanwhile, Chicago opens coronavirus vaccine eligibility Monday to all adults over age 16, one week after the the state moved to Phase 2.

Here are the latest updates on the coronavirus pandemic across Illinois today:

Chicago COVID Vaccine Eligibility Opens to All Adults Over 16 Monday

Chicago will open COVID-19 vaccine appointments to all residents age 16 and older Monday, one week after Illinois moved to the next phase of eligibility.

The shift to Phase 2 eligibility comes as the city announces that more than 1 million residents have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine.

“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,” Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said.

Lightfoot reminded that vaccine supply continues to remain limited throughout the city, encouraging people to remain patient.

Read more here.

Illinois Administers Over 8M COVID Vaccines, Crossing Major Milestone

Illinois health officials crossed a major milestone Sunday in the fight against COVID-19.

The state has administered over 8 million doses of coronavirus vaccine during the pandemic, while receiving 9,930,945 doses, as of Sunday.

Health officials reported 115,330 vaccinations administered statewide in the last day, according to the latest data. Saturday's vaccinations brought the seven-day rolling average of vaccines administered to 125,146 doses.

Read more here.

Coronavirus in Illinois: 2,666 New COVID Cases, 10 Deaths, 115K Vaccinations

Illinois health officials reported 2,666 new confirmed and probable coronavirus cases and 10 additional deaths in the last day, along with over 115,000 vaccinations administered.

The newly reported coronavirus cases Sunday brings the state total to 1,302,241 cases since the pandemic began. The 10 additional deaths rose the total death toll to 21,663, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

In the last 24 hours, 70,106 coronavirus test specimens were returned to state laboratories, with more than 21.7 million now conducted during the pandemic.

The statewide positivity dropped Sunday, with 4% of all tests returning positive results. The positivity rate for individuals tested in the last seven days also dropped to 4.7%, according to IDPH data.

Read more here.

These Are the College Vaccination Days Coming to Illinois Next Week

Illinois officials announced Friday new "college vaccination days" to encourage students at universities across the state to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

With several events happening this weekend and next week, the Illinois Department of Public Health is partnering with various colleges to bring the vaccine directly to students.

The mass vaccination sites will have appointments available specifically for college and university students, according to a release. Students should be provided a link to register for an appointment.

For a full list of locations, click here.

More Pop-Up Vaccine Clinics Added as Illinois Focuses on Vaccinating Young People

As vaccine supply and the number of administered doses have increased in recent weeks, also has the rate of pop-up vaccination clinics in the Chicago area.

On Saturday, the Cook County Department of Public Health put on its 145th pop-up vaccination clinic, which took place at the Muslim Education Center in Morton Grove. Approximately 1,000 residents of all ages received their first dose at the event.

Read more here.

Chicago Revamps COVID Vaccination Rollout After Pausing Use of Johnson & Johnson Vaccine

Chicago officials announced updated plans for the city's COVID-19 vaccination rollout after pausing the use of Johnson & Johnson vaccines following federal recommendations.

Chicago ordered a temporarily halt of the single-dose vaccine based on guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as they investigate reports of potentially dangerous blood clots.

Here are the latest updates to the city's vaccination plan:

  • The Chicago State University mass vaccination site switched to Pfizer vaccine beginning Wednesday
  • The Protect Chicago Homebound program will switch to Pfizer vaccine with appointments resuming Friday
  • Events scheduled with Walgreens as part of the Faith Month initiative this weekend will use the Pfizer vaccine
  • Chicago Federation of Labor vaccination site will switch to Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, but limited to 1,200 doses per week. Appointments resume on Monday
  • Events with the Illinois Restaurant Association are on hold until the week of April 26
  • The O'Hare vaccination site previously using the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will close. Anyone with a scheduled appointment will be invited to receive a vaccination at Wright College or the United Center
  • The Chicago Department of Public Health-Chicago Transit Authority vaccination bus remains on pause
  • All other vaccination locations in Chicago using Pfizer or Moderna vaccine will operate as normal

Read more here.

Chicago to Host Vaccination Clinic at Loretto Hospital After Pausing Doses During Controversy

Weeks after Chicago first cut off vaccine supply to the West Side's Loretto Hospital, the city has announced a new vaccination event at the facility for area residents.

The Chicago Department of Public Health said it will open a city-managed vaccination clinic at Loretto Hospital beginning April 21 for residents of the Austin neighborhood.

"Located onsite at the hospital, the new clinic will increase vaccine access on the West Side while ensuring all vaccination guidelines are stringently followed," the department said in a release.

Previously, the city paused vaccine shipments to the facility after reports surfaced that the hospital hosted a series of COVID vaccination events involving alleged favoritism, including one in which ineligible Trump Tower workers were vaccinated.

Read more here.

CPS, CTU Reach Tentative Deal to Return to in-Person High School Classes Monday

Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Teachers Union leadership have reached a tentative agreement to return to in-person instruction for high schoolers starting Monday.

The tentative agreement will be voted on by the CTU’s House of Delegates as part of the union’s review process, according to CPS.

“In-person learning will resume for high school students for the first time in more than a year, and for the first time since March 2020 students in all grade levels at CPS have access to in-person learning,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot and CPS CEO Dr. Janice Jackson said in a statement.

In-person learning for high schoolers has been paused since the coronavirus pandemic sent students home for remote learning in March 2020.

Are COVID Vaccines FDA Approved? Here's How the Process Works

News that Moderna was inching closer to requesting full approval of its COVID vaccine by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has led to some questions surrounding the approval process for the coronavirus vaccines this week.

Currently, no coronavirus vaccine is fully approved by the FDA, but three were given emergency use authorization by the agency.

They include vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson, the last of which regulators recommended be paused Tuesday while they investigate reports of potentially dangerous blood clots in a small number of women.

Emergency use authorization allows a vaccine to become available prior to full approval in the case of public health emergencies. The FDA can revoke the EUA at any time.

Read more here.

Here's How Many Cases of the 4 COVID Variants Have Been Identified in Illinois

More than 1,000 cases of four COVID variants currently circulating in the U.S. have been identified in Illinois, state health officials say, as data from a state lab has found the variants are becoming "much more prominent" amid a continued rise in cases.

A total of 1,051 cases of the four variants have been identified as of Tuesday, when the Illinois Department of Public Health last updated the variant case numbers. But experts have cautioned that the number of cases of variants may be higher because not all positive COVID tests are being tested to determine which variant they may be.

The four variants are: the U.K. variant known as B.1.1.7, the South African variant called B.1351, the Brazil variant known as P.1 and a fourth variant out of California called B.147/429.

Read more here.

IDPH Says J&J Vaccine Pause ‘Will Not Have a Large Impact' on State Vaccinations

Illinois' decision to pause use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine "will not have a large impact" on the state's vaccination plans, health officials said Tuesday.

The Illinois Department of Public Health announced plans to temporarily halt the administration of the single-dose vaccine following a recommendation from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as they investigate reports of potentially dangerous blood clots.

“Public health officials made a commitment that any safety signals that came up concerning COVID-19 vaccines would be fully addressed in a transparent manner, which is what is occurring right now with the J&J vaccine,” IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said in a statement. “The blood clot cases appear to be extremely rare and there are no reported cases associated with either the Pfizer-BioNTech or the Moderna vaccines. IDPH is taking immediate action to ensure as little disruption to Illinois residents as possible during this pause, and I strongly encourage people to continue to get vaccinated. Millions upon millions of people have already been safely vaccinated and it will take millions more before we can put this pandemic behind us.” 

Health officials say a majority of Illinois' vaccine doses are from Moderna and Pfizer's vaccines. Of the expected 483,720 doses the state is set to receive next week, 5,800 were set to be Johnson & Johnson.

Read more here.

Illinois Allocating 50K First Doses to Chicago Over the Next Week

After Illinois and Chicago both paused use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine amid a federal review on Tuesday, Gov. J.B. Pritzker said the state will allocate 50,000 first doses of the two-dose Pfizer and Moderna vaccines to Chicago over the next seven days.

The state will then allocate another 50,000 doses in time for second shots to be administered, Pritzker said.

"As cases climb across the country, I encourage everyone to get vaccinated as soon as possible," he tweeted. "We can end this pandemic together."

Illinois to Pause Johnson & Johnson Vaccine After FDA and CDC Recommendation

Illinois will pause use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine "out of an abundance of caution" following a recommendation from the CDC and FDA, the state's health department said Tuesday.

"IDPH has notified all Illinois COVID-19 providers throughout the state to discontinue use of the J&J vaccine at this time," the Illinois Department of Public Health said in a statement. "In order to keep appointments, IDPH is strongly advising providers to use Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines."

"IDPH will continue to update the public as additional information becomes available," the department's statement read.

Read more here.

Illinois Vaccinations

Note: For COVID-19, the herd-immunity threshold is estimated to be between 60 and 90 percent. Our analysis considers herd immunity reached at 75% of the population fully vaccinated based on estimates by Dr. Anthony Fauci.

 

Which COVID Vaccine is Best For You and How Long Do They Last?

As new studies surrounding COVID vaccine efficacy and how long both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines last continue to emerge, how can you know which is best for you? According to medical experts, the vaccines currently available in the U.S. each offer some level of protection.

For a breakdown, click here.

What Makes You More Likely to Get Side Effects From COVID Vaccine?

Side effects are possible after receiving either one or two doses of any of the coronavirus vaccines currently being administered in the U.S., but not everyone experiences them. Experiencing side effects isn't necessarily a bad thing. In fact, it's a sign your body is responding.

So what makes someone more likely to experience them than others?

Women and younger people are more likely to report side effects, experts say, while side effects could also vary depending on whether or not you've had coronavirus.

People are more likely to report side effects after their second dose, Chicago's top doctor said, echoing reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But not getting side effects isn't negative, health experts say.

Read more here.

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