6 million Illinois residents now fully vaccinated against COVID-19

With daily shot averages dwindling and more infectious coronavirus variants gaining traction, experts are urging unvaccinated residents to roll up their sleeves. While the state hasn’t seen a spike in cases since reopening two weeks ago, outbreaks are still popping up.

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Terrell Hallom, 15, gets a vaccine in Englewood earlier this month. More than 6 million residents are fully vaccinated in Illinois.

Terrell Hallom, 15, gets a vaccine in Englewood earlier this month. More than 6 million residents are fully vaccinated in Illinois.

Anthony Vazquez/Sun-Times

Six months into a historic vaccination campaign, more than six million Illinois residents are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19, or slightly more than 47% of the population.

The state crossed that threshold Friday as the Illinois Department of Public Health announced a weekly inoculation total of 201,587.

About 52% of residents 12 or older are fully covered. That rate increases to 55% when counting only adults, and 73% of seniors.

Those numbers differ slightly in Chicago, where 56% of residents 12 or older have completed their vaccine series, compared to 58% of adults and 65% of seniors, according to the city’s Department of Public Health.

With the statewide daily shot average dwindling to 28,798 and 5,857 in the city — and more infectious coronavirus variants gaining traction — experts are urging unvaccinated residents to roll up their sleeves.

“I am very pleased with where we are, but we are not done with COVID,” Chicago Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said Thursday. “We continue to monitor, and I think there will be questions when we start to get into the fall and winter — will we see some more surges? We’re continuing to watch variants, but we make decisions based on what is happening right now.”

While the state hasn’t seen a spike in cases since reopening two weeks ago, outbreaks are still popping up.

More than 50 teens and adult staffers at a central Illinois summer camp tested positive earlier this month, with at least one ending up in a hospital. “Only a handful” of people at the camp had been vaccinated, state officials said, and the camp didn’t require proof of immunization or masks.

“As more transmissible and dangerous COVID-19 variants spread, including the Delta variant, largely among people who have not been vaccinated, IDPH continues to encourage all residents 12 years and older to be vaccinated,” the agency said in a statement.

Still, with a case positivity rate of 0.6%, the numbers are as encouraging as they’ve been since the pandemic hit. A total of 1,744 new cases of the disease were diagnosed across Illinois over the last week. The state was adding more than 3,000 cases per day in April.

COVID-19 hospitalizations are at record lows, too, with 435 beds occupied, 99 coronavirus patients receiving intensive care and 53 on ventilators.

But the state has yet to break its 465-day streak of reporting coronavirus fatalities. Sixty-six Illinois lives were lost in the last week, including eight on Thursday, raising the death toll to 23,199.

Anyone who gets a shot by July 1 will automatically be entered into a statewide lottery for a $1 million cash prize.

For help finding a vaccine appointment in Chicago, visit zocdoc.com or call (312) 746-4835. The city is also offering in-home vaccinations for any resident who requests it.

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

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

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