The Illinois Department of Public Health on Friday authorized counties in the state with low demand for the COVID vaccine to begin immunizing all residents 16 years of age and older at their immediate discretion in order to “respond to a trend possible increase in hospitalizations and rates of COVID cases ”.
The IDPH said in a statement it has seen demand for vaccines slow in several counties “with early signs of unfilled appointments and an increased vaccine inventory.”
As such, the state allows counties with open appointments and sluggish demand to expand vaccine eligibility to use currently available doses. The IDPH noted that residents should contact their local health department to find out if they have expanded eligibility.
The state also announced Friday that it will send “rapid response vaccination teams” to five counties where epidemiologists “have determined that it is necessary to administer doses quickly to mitigate the upward trends,” he said. declared the IDPH. These teams will administer one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccines to residents in addition to what counties are already allocated.
These counties are: Carroll, Ogle, Boone, Lee and Whiteside. Details on doses and how to make an appointment are as follows, by IDPH:“The recent increases in hospital admissions and positivity testing are about new developments and we don’t want to go down the same path we’ve seen before and experience a resurgence of the pandemic, which is why Governor Pritzker has told us asked to use all our resources. to stop these increases, ”IDPH director Dr Ngozi Ezike said in a statement.
Illinois has seen a 10-day increase in the seven-day moving average of hospital admissions since March 8, the IDPH said, and the COVID-19 test positivity was 3.3% on Friday – against 2.5% on March 10.
“While these rates are certainly well below the peak, they represent a potential early warning sign of a possible resurgence,” said IDPH.
Chicago officials said Thursday that the city’s coronavirus metrics had also shown “worrying increases” in recent weeks, noting that “most alarmingly,” the daily number of new COVID cases in the city has risen in the city. “high risk” category due to five consecutive suites. days of increases.
The IDPH noted on Friday that Chicago’s daily case rate had increased by nearly 50% since last week, along with a six-day increase in test positivity, while suburban Cook County saw its Daily case rate increasing by over 40%, with nine days of increased hospital bed use.
“We cannot move forward if our measures step back,” Ezike said. “The vaccine will help us bring us to the end of the pandemic, but we must continue to reduce the spread of the virus by wearing a mask, avoiding large crowds, keeping six feet away, getting tested after seeing other people and get vaccinated as soon as possible. ”
Governor JB Pritzker announced last week that all Illinois residents over the age of 16 will be able to get the vaccine starting April 12.
Here’s a look at the full vaccine eligibility schedule:
|December 15, 2020||Healthcare workers, staff and residents of long-term care facilities|
|January 25, 2021||Essential front-line workers (including first responders, K-12 teachers and other public-oriented industries) and residents 65 and over|
|February 25, 2021||Residents with high risk conditions or disabilities, aged 16 and over|
|22 mars 2021||Higher education staff, civil servants and the media|
|29 mars 2021||Restaurant staff, construction workers and religious leaders|
|12 avril 2021||Any resident aged 16 and over|
All vaccinations remain by appointment only, officials said, noting that “making an appointment to receive a vaccine may take time.” Newly eligible workers can book appointments at “the more than 900 locations in the state’s supplier network,” Pritzker said.
To find out where and how to make an appointment in Illinois or where you can receive vaccine information for your area, click here.