Coronavirus live blog, Feb. 14, 2021: 414,301 people fully vaccinated against the coronavirus since inoculations began mid-December

Here’s Sunday’s news on how COVID-19 is impacting Chicago and Illinois. Follow here for live updates.

SHARE Coronavirus live blog, Feb. 14, 2021: 414,301 people fully vaccinated against the coronavirus since inoculations began mid-December

Another 59,000 people on Saturday were vaccinated against COVID-19 in Illinois, raising the total doses administered to 1,783,345, according to the health department. Nearly a quarter million of those doses were administered at long-term health facilities.

In Illinois, 414,301 people have been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus since inoculations began mid-December. That’s 3.25% of the state’s 12.7 million people.

Here’s what else happened Sunday in coronavirus-related news.


News

5:00 p.m. Illinois COVID vaccination rate triples compared to January

As Illinois ramps up its inoculation effort, public health data shows vaccines were administered in the first half of February at triple the rate for the same period in January.

An average of about 57,000 shots were given per day in the first half of February, compared to an average of about 19,000 per day for the first 14 days of January, according to figures from the Illinois Department of Public Health.

But a shortage of vaccine shipments from the federal government means everyone eligible for a dose won’t be able to make an appointment, Gov. JB Pritzker said Friday. The vaccination rate was expected to continue to increase as the federal government ships vaccine doses in larger quantities.

Read the full story from David Struett here.

2:29 p.m. Nearly 400,000 Illinoisans now fully vaccinated against coronavirus

Virus_Outbreak_Chicago_Schools__5_.jpg

A pharmacist administers the Moderna vaccine to a patient at a CPS vaccination site at Roberto Clemente High School, 1147 N Western Ave in Ukrainian Village, Thursday, Feb. 11, 2021.

Anthony Vazquez/Chicago Sun-Times

Nearly 400,000 Illinoisans have now been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, public health officials announced Saturday.

Those 399,166 residents who have received both required shots account for only 3.1% of the state population, but the Illinois Department of Public Health says with 1.7 million total doses administered over the past two months, about 10% of Illinoisans have gotten at least one so far.

A total of 79,704 shots went into arms Friday, which trails only the 95,375 administered a day earlier for the most ever in a single day.

The state’s rolling average of shots given per day is up to a new high of 61,384. Gov. J.B. Pritzker has said he expects that rate to keep ballooning as the federal government ships out doses in larger quantities and a third vaccine from Johnson & Johnson nears federal approval.

“Making an appointment is still no doubt a frustrating effort that requires enormous patience, but we still have not received enough vaccine from the federal government for everyone who’s eligible,” Pritzker said Friday.

Read the full story Mitchell Armentrout here.

11:46 a.m. Average COVID-19 cases in US dropped below 100K for first time since November

ATLANTA — Average daily new coronavirus cases in the United States dipped below 100,000 in recent days for the first time in months, but experts cautioned Sunday that infections remain high and precautions to slow the pandemic must remain in place.

The seven-day rolling average of new infections was well above 200,000 for much of December and went to roughly 250,000 in January, according to data kept by Johns Hopkins University, as the pandemic came roaring back after it had been tamed in some places over the summer.

That average dropped below 100,000 on Friday for the first time since Nov. 4. It stayed below 100,000 on Saturday.

“We are still at about 100,000 cases a day. We are still at around 1,500 to 3,500 deaths per day. The cases are more than two-and-a-half-fold times what we saw over the summer,” Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “It’s encouraging to see these trends coming down, but they’re coming down from an extraordinarily high place.”

Read the full story here.

9:00 a.m. Tight supply creates reluctance over federal coronavirus vaccine sites

OKLAHOMA CITY — The Biden administration’s plan to open 100 vaccination sites by the end of the month was initially embraced by governors and health officials, who considered it a much needed lifeline to get more Americans inoculated against the coronavirus.

But reality has quickly set in: Some are hesitating to take the offer, at least for now, saying they don’t need more places to administer doses. They just need more doses.

Eager to protect more people against the coronavirus, health officials in Oklahoma jumped at the chance to add large, federally supported vaccination sites. They wanted them in Oklahoma City, Tulsa and a third, mid-size city, Lawton, thinking the extra help would allow them to send more doses to smaller communities that had yet to benefit.

“We felt like if we could get them in the metro areas, what that would allow us to do is ... free up a lot of our other resources to do more targeted vaccinations in underserved areas,” said state Deputy Health Commissioner Keith Reed.

Those plans are now on hold after the state learned that the sites would not come with additional vaccines. Instead, the doses would have to be pulled from the state’s existing allocation, and the three sites alone might have used more than half of Oklahoma’s vaccine supply.

“We’re not prepared to pull the trigger on it unless it comes with vaccine,” Reed said.

Read the full story here.


New Cases

  • 59,000 people on Saturday were vaccinated against COVID-19 in Illinois.
  • In Illinois, 414,301 people have been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus since inoculations began mid-December.
  • The state on Sunday also reported 35 more deaths from the coronavirus, along with 1,631 new confirmed cases from among 64,949 tests administered.

Analysis & Commentary

9:05 a.m. Computer divide among the barriers keeping elderly from getting COVID-19 vaccines

It’s easy to forget there is an entire generation among us, maybe two generations, who never had to join the computer age.

They have been able to live productive, independent lives without knowing the first thing about using a computer, let alone owning one. Others in their age group might know just enough to check their email.

And now we are telling them they are welcome to sign up for the COVID-19 vaccine, encouraging them, because we recognize they are the most in need. All they have to do is go online to register and compete against more computer-savvy citizens to nab an appointment.

Read the full column from Mark Brown here.

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