COVID vaccine

Illinois Surpasses 1 Million COVID-19 Vaccinations

Illinois is the sixth state to reach the threshold of 1 million doses administered, Gov. J.B. Pritzker said

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The state of Illinois has surpassed the milestone of 1 million COVID-19 vaccinations administered statewide, health officials say.

A total of 1,028,969 doses of the vaccine have been administered across the state as of Monday night, the Illinois Department of Public Health said in a statement. That includes 163,592 doses given at long-term care facilities through the federal government's Pharmacy Partnership Program, officials said.

A total of 32,559 doses were administered Monday, lifting the state over that 1 million mark. The 7-day rolling average number of doses given each day stands at 44,139 doses per day, according to IDPH.

The number of doses administered in Illinois is just over half of the doses that have been sent to the state, IDPH said. Authorities said 1,455,825 doses have been delivered to providers in Illinois and 496,100 doses have been allocated through the federal government's partnership for long-term facilities, bringing the combined total to 1,951,925 doses.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker celebrated the number of vaccines administered, noting in a tweet that Illinois is the sixth state in the U.S. to cross the 1-million shot threshold.

"Each and every day, we're getting closer to getting our daily lives back. Hope is here," he wrote.

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The news came less than a week after Pritzker pushed back on claims that Illinois ranks near the bottom of all 50 states for vaccine distribution in some metrics, including percentage of residents that have received at least one dose and percentage of doses received that have been administered.

As of Wednesday, the New York Times' tracker of vaccine distribution across the country ranks Illinois 45th of all 50 states for percentage of the population that has received at least the first of two doses of the vaccine, with 6.6% of Illinois residents having received at least their first dose.

That percentage is up from last week, when it was 4.7% of all residents, according to the New York Times, though Illinois fell one spot in that ranking.

When it comes to percentage of doses received that have been administered, the New York Times' tracker ranks Illinois at 42nd in the nation, with 58% of doses received having been given. Both that metric and the state's ranking are an improvement from the week before, when Illinois had administered 48% of its doses and was ranked 43rd.

Republican Illinois state Sen. Dan McConchie tweeted the tracker last week, calling Illinois' metrics "unacceptable" and calling on Pritzker to "accelerate the rollout," prompting a rebuke from the governor.

"I think Sen. McConchie isn't paying attention to the numbers," Pritzker said during a news conference Wednesday. "The real numbers are that we have separated out the number of doses that are necessary for all of our long-term care facilities and that is taking time to roll out, that's being done by a federal partnership. If you take all of those doses out and remove the number of second doses that have been delivered to the state of Illinois… When you take all of those out, actually, we're doing quite well as a state at getting the administration of vaccinations, putting them in people's arms."

Pritzker said that while the doses that have been allocated to the federal program appear as though they've been delivered to the state, they've actually been sent to CVS, Walgreens and those vaccinating nursing homes under that program.

He also noted that some doses are being delivered but not administered in order to hold them back as second doses for those who have received their first.

Pritzker and other state and local officials have repeatedly asked Illinois residents eager to get vaccinated for patience as the state deals with federal shipments of fewer vaccine doses than it had initially anticipated. Illinois entered Phase 1B of its COVID-19 vaccine rollout plan last week, standing up new vaccination sites and increasing 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 and more. Roughly 3.2 million Illinois residents are eligible to be vaccinated in Phase 1B.

But Pritzker has repeatedly warned that even as the state has moved into the new phase of vaccinations, appointments are still limited based on federal vaccine supply - an issue he's blamed on former President Donald Trump's administration.

Pritzker said last week that he was "at the whim of the manufacturers and the ability of the new administration to ramp up the manufacturers' production capability within defense production" but expressed optimism about newly inaugurated President Joe Biden's handling of vaccine production.

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