COVID vaccine

1 in 10 Chicagoans Have Received the First Dose of COVID Vaccine: Arwady

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Since beginning coronavirus vaccinations throughout the city, 1 in 10 Chicagoans have received the first dose of the vaccine, health officials said this week.

Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said in a press conference Friday that 10% of Chicago residents have received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

"As more vaccine gets here, we can roll out as quickly as we can, keeping always efficiency and equity at the center of our planning," Arwady said. "It's the right thing to do, and it's what helps Chicago get past COVID."

As more residents in long-term care facilities become vaccinated from the virus, Arwady added that 1 in 4 Chicago residents over the age of 65 have received at least the first dose of the vaccine.

City officials noted that at least 50% of vaccine doses administered last week went to Black or Latinx residents, after early data painted a "disturbing" picture surrounding racial equity and the coronavirus vaccine in Chicago.

The number nearly triples the statistics reported less than a month ago, when the city said just 18% of doses administered early on in the vaccine rollout were going to Black or Latinx Chicagoans, despite them making up 59% of the city's population. 

Still, according to data since vaccinations began, Black and Latinx residents make up less than 40% of the city's total first doses administered.

Beginning last month, Illinois and Chicago have both entered the next phase of their vaccination rollout, called Phase 1B, increasing the eligibility to millions of residents.

Phase 1B opens up vaccinations to people age 65 years and older as well as "frontline essential workers," which includes first responders, education workers like teachers and support staff, childcare workers, grocery store employees, postal service workers, among others.

For a complete look at where and how you can make an appointment in Illinois or where you can receive vaccine information for your area, click here.

In the press conference Friday, Arwady announced that Chicago's coronavirus positivity rate was the lowest it's been since the pandemic began.

"I'm also happy to announce today, we are at a 3.5% positivity in the city of Chicago," Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said. "That is the lowest positivity that the city of Chicago has seen from COVID, since COVID came to Chicago."

She noted that over the summer, Chicago's positivity rate dropped below 4%, but never to the level the city is recording as of Friday.

Chicago's is averaging 323 new COVID-19 cases per day, Arwady said, which is down from the over 3,000 cases a day recorded at the peak of the virus. The city's daily case count is also below the cutoff that marks a "high-risk area," according to Chicago guidance.

NBC Chicago/Associated Press
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