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Vaccination rate sinks to lowest point in almost 2 months as COVID-19 kills 32 more Illinoisans

About 60% of Illinois adults have gotten at least one shot, but demand for the vaccine has dipped by 34% over the past three weeks.

A person receives the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at Chicago Vocational Career Academy in March. About 9.3 million shots have been given in Illinois overall, but demand is falling rapidly.
A person receives the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at Chicago Vocational Career Academy in March. About 9.3 million shots have been given in Illinois overall, but demand is falling rapidly.
Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

Public health officials have applauded Illinois residents for “bending the curve” of the state’s latest uptick in COVID-19 cases, but now another important pandemic curve is flattening out — and that’s not what experts want to see.

The Illinois Department of Public Health on Saturday reported the state’s seven-day average of coronavirus vaccine doses administered per day is down to 87,494, its lowest point since March 4.

The daily vaccination rate hit an all-time high of almost 133,000 on April 12, and that figure has been in free fall ever since — a 34% decrease in just 19 days.

A total of 88,753 shots went into arms Friday, a 29% decrease compared to the previous Friday and barely half the total reported April 16.

Officials have said they expected demand to decline after the initial rush on the life-saving vaccines, and it comes just as there are finally more than enough doses to go around.

“Now we have to change hearts and minds to encourage individuals who have not yet made the decision to get vaccinated,” Cook County Health CEO Israel Rocha said earlier this week. “The COVID vaccine offers an easy, safe way to protect yourself and your loved ones from serious illness and death.”

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.

About 60% of Illinois adults have gotten at least one shot, and 32% of residents are fully vaccinated so far.

Meanwhile, infection numbers remain relatively low across the state, but the virus is still claiming dozens of lives every day.

Officials reported 32 more COVID-19 fatalities, including that of a woman in her 30s from Madison County in the downstate Metro East region. Illinois’ viral death toll since last March stands at 21,992.

The state also logged 2,813 new cases that were diagnosed among 83,070 tests, raising the average statewide positivity rate slightly to 3.5%. Illinois has been hovering around that number for about a week. It’s down from 4.4% in mid-April.

More than 1.3 million of the state’s 12.7 million residents have contracted the virus over the past year.

For help finding a vaccination appointment in Chicago, visit zocdoc.com or call (312) 746-4835.

For suburban Cook County sites, visit vaccine.cookcountyil.gov or call (833) 308-1988.

To find providers elsewhere, visit coronavirus.illinois.gov or call (833) 621-1284.