While more than 9 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered throughout Illinois, data shows the average of daily administered doses has declined in recent weeks, presenting a new challenge for state health officials.
Since vaccinations began in mid-December, the seven-day average has increased overall despite a few notable dips, including ones in late February and March, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health's website.
However, since April 12, when the rolling average was reported to be 132,979 doses, the number has steadily declined. As of May 2, the most recent day for which data is available, the average was said to be 78,440, which amounts to a 41% decline since April 12.
As of Monday, 4,119,343 Illinoisans, or approximately 32.33% of the state's residents, have been fully vaccinated.
Last week, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said the state was making progress in its COVID metrics and could soon enter the "Bridge Phase," a transition phase before reaching a full reopening. On Monday, the governor said he couldn't provide a date for when such a move would happen.
Illinois has already met the vaccination metric to enter the Bridge Phase - more than 70% percent of residents 65 and older have received the first dose of the COVID vaccine.
The state must also maintain at least 20% ICU beds availability and hold steady on hospitalizations for COVID-19 or COVID-like illnesses, mortality rates and case rates over a 28-day monitoring period.
Hospitalizations and the daily mortality rate, however, have increased in recent weeks. Statewide 22% percent of ICU beds are available, data revealed.
Speaking on Monday, Pritzker encouraged Illinoisans who haven't been vaccinated to do so, but didn't address the decline in administered vaccine doses.
IDPH released a statement to NBC 5, acknowledging vaccinations have dropped in Illinois, but also across the country.
"As we see the rate of COVID-19 vaccination slow, not only in Illinois, but across the country, IDPH is pivoting to smaller vaccination clinics where we, and our partners, can take the vaccine to people instead of people having to come to the vaccine," the statement read. "We have been working with churches and places of worship across the state to hold vaccination clinics, we’ve deployed our rural vaccination teams to communities across Illinois, and we are working with community partners to set up vaccination clinics."