After another record-setting day of administering COVID-19 vaccines in Illinois, city officials on Saturday opened up eligibility to four more Chicago ZIP codes on the South and West Sides for shots at the United Center in an attempt to get more doses into arms of people living in neighborhoods hit hard by the pandemic.
The newly added ZIP codes are 60624, 60644, 60651 and 60653, Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s office said in a statement. They join the 60608, 60619, 60620, 60649 and 60652 ZIP codes.
Anyone who lives in those areas can sign up for an appointment at events.juvare.com/chicago/UCPOD/ with the code “CCVICHICAGO,” or by reaching the multilingual call center at (312) 746-4835.
“These are the areas where we’ve seen some of the highest rates of severe illness and death throughout the pandemic, and where access to the vaccine has been most challenging. So we had to act,” Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said in a statement. “We’re also doing this because if we want to defeat this pandemic, we need to control the spread of the virus where it is the worst, and that impacts all of us.”
People who live outside of those ZIP codes and try to sign up will have their appointments canceled, city officials said.
Early in the vaccine rollout, only 18% of vaccines were going to Black or Latino Chicagoans, city officials said. Now, data from the most recent week shows 59% of first-dose COVID-19 vaccines went to Black or Latino residents.
The eligibility expansion comes as state health officials announced another 152,697 vaccine doses were doled out Friday, marking the state’s highest one-day total yet.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced the promising milestone in a tweet, writing: “When one of us gets protected with the vaccine, we’re all safer and stronger — and that much closer to ending this pandemic.”
The state’s rolling average of shots given per day is up to an all-time high of 97,758. In total, almost 3.95 million vaccines have been administered over the last three months.
With the COVID-19 vaccine rollout continuing to pick up steam, coronavirus infection rates remain near all-time lows across Illinois.
State health officials on Saturday reported 1,675 new probable and confirmed COVID-19 cases and an additional 23 deaths.
The new cases were found among the 77,505 tests processed by the Illinois Department of Public Health in the last day, for a daily positivity rate of roughly 2.2%.
Illinois’ daily caseload has surpassed 2,000 only twice in March, and the state’s seven-day positivity rate is close to an all-time low of 2.1%.
Statewide hospitalizations have returned to pre-peak levels, too. As of Friday night, 1,082 beds were occupied statewide by coronavirus patients, with 235 of those patients in intensive care units and 95 on ventilators, officials said.
More than 1.2 million people in Illinois have been infected, and 20,924 have died over the last year.