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Third straight record-breaking COVID-19 vaccination day sends Illinois shot total past 7 million

Illinois is vaccinating more people per day than ever, but the state is also facing its third coronavirus resurgence.

People get doses of a COVID-19 vaccine at Cook County’s Forest Park Community Vaccination Site at 7630 Roosevelt Road in Forest Park on Thursday. About 22% of Illinois residents have been fully vaccinated so far.
People get doses of a COVID-19 vaccine at Cook County’s Forest Park Community Vaccination Site at 7630 Roosevelt Road in Forest Park on Thursday. About 22% of Illinois residents have been fully vaccinated so far.
Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

After a third straight record-breaking COVID-19 vaccination day for Illinois, more than 7 million shots have now gone into arms statewide, officials announced Saturday.

A total of 175,681 doses were administered Friday, surpassing the state’s previous high set a day earlier by more than 11,000 shots, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Almost four months into the unprecedented nationwide vaccination effort, the state’s overall shot tally is up to 7,047,326.

From that figure, only about 2.8 million residents have been fully vaccinated, meaning two weeks removed from their final dose. That’s still just shy of 22% of the population.

But Illinois is vaccinating more people per day than ever, with an average of almost 123,000 shots administered daily over the past week.

COVID-19 vaccine doses administered by day

Graphic by Jesse Howe and Caroline Hurley | Sun-Times

Source: Illinois Department of Public Health

Graph not displaying properly? Click here.

All residents 16 or older will be eligible for vaccination starting Monday, though Chicago providers won’t expand eligibility to all adults until April 19.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced a partnership with Walgreens that’s aiming to vaccinate 10,000 Chicagoans from dozens of houses of worship through off-site clinics over the next three weeks. It’s part of the city’s effort emphasizing equitable distribution in Black and Brown neighborhoods.

“We’ve seen the numbers come down in case infections, in hospitalizations and deaths that had been disproportionately affecting people of color in this city, but our work’s not done,” Lightfoot said.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s health team is racing to vaccinate as many people as quickly as possible with Illinois now facing its third coronavirus resurgence.

Officials reported 3,630 new cases of the disease were diagnosed among 84,478 tests, keeping the state’s average positivity rate at 4.2%. That number, which indicates how rapidly the virus is spreading, has doubled since March 12.

COVID-19 hospitalizations are up 69% since then, with 1,831 beds occupied Friday night.

And the virus is claiming an average of 19 Illinois lives each day, a rate that experts say can be expected to increase over the weeks ahead due to the volume of new cases. The state reported 13 more deaths Saturday, including that of a Cook County man in his 40s.

Illinois’ death toll is up to 21,489, among about 1.3 million residents who have tested positive over the last year.

For help finding an appointment, visit coronavirus.illinois.gov or call (833) 621-1284.