1 in 8 Illinoisans vaccinated, with 500,000 more doses expected this week

About one in eight Illinoisans has received a COVID-19 vaccine shot as of Monday, and after recent storms across the U.S. stymied shipments, 500,000 more doses should arrive this week, state officials said.

Among those receiving shots will be residents of long-term care facilities as retail pharmacies tasked with inoculating that group near completion of a complicated job.

CVS and Walgreens, which are collectively handling move than 1,400 long-term care sites across the suburbs and statewide, excluding Chicago, began vaccinating at nursing homes Dec. 28 and at assisted living centers Jan. 25.

CVS has finished vaccinations at nursing homes and administered 69,207 doses. At assisted living sites, the pharmacy has given 28,261 shots and has completed 21% of its second and final round of clinics, according to company data.

“Our effort to administer a COVID-19 vaccine to the long-term care community in Illinois has been going according to plan, and in close coordination with the state,” CVS spokesman Charlie Rice-Minoso said.

Walgreens has given 69,543 shots at nursing homes, finished two rounds of clinics and is 43% done with a third one. At assisted-living facilities, Walgreens has provided 58,692 inoculations, finished a first round of clinics and is 61% done with a second one, the company reported.

Tom Cummings, who lives in a Glen Ellyn group home for adults with disabilities operated by UCP Seguin of Greater Chicago, recently received his second dose of the vaccine, his brother and guardian Bill Cummings said Monday. Vaccines manufactured by Pfizer and Moderna require two doses several weeks apart.

Tom, who has cerebral palsy and intellectual disabilities, loves his group home but has missed outings and hugging members of his large Irish family since the pandemic struck, his brother said.

Tom, 46, and his 90-year-old mother “have a very strong bond,” Bill Cummings said. Vaccination “is the light at the end of the tunnel. It's like where you're in a dark room and all of a sudden find a flashlight.”

Tom didn't have any side effects with the vaccine, his brother noted. “He knows it's going to be better, and we're very proud of him.”

On Sunday, 59,748 more people received COVID-19 shots compared to the seven-day average of 55,499, the Illinois Department of Public Health reported.

The federal government has delivered 2,702,175 doses of vaccine to Illinois since distribution began in mid-December, and 2,211,700 people have been inoculated. So far, 571,260 people — 4.48% of the state's 12.7 million population — have been fully vaccinated.

Supplies have been erratic, and from Feb. 14 through Feb. 20, just 131,600 vaccine doses arrived, mainly because of weather issues.

“We're expecting to have 500,000 doses here in the state this week for administration into people's arms,” Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Monday at a bill signing. Daily averages range from 60,000 to 80,000 shots, and “we expect to maintain and grow that number this week,” Pritzker said.

However, many of those vaccines are earmarked for the first wave of people in Phase 1B, individuals age 65 and older and essential workers such as police and, who began getting shots Jan. 26 and require their second doses, Pritzker noted.

The federal government is expected to send 480,000 vaccine doses to Walgreens Thursday for use across 23 states and two territories by appointment at retail stores, the pharmacy announced. Walgreens is the only company in Illinois currently activated for the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program, which streams doses directly to large pharmacy chains, but others, such as CVS, will be added later.

The first wave of vaccinations — Phase 1A, which includes long-term care and health care workers — has dragged out with a limited supply and growing pains.

New cases of COVID-19 totaled 1,246 Monday, with 34 more deaths, the IDPH reported.

Illinois hospitals were treating 1,504 COVID-19 patients on Sunday night.

The state's positivity rate for COVID-19 cases is 2.8% based on a seven-day average.

Total cases statewide stand at 1,175,655, and 20,303 Illinoisans have died since the pandemic began.

Labs processed 37,361 virus tests in the last 24 hours.

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Tom Cummings, shown with a caregiver, lives in an assisted living group home in Glen Ellyn and received his second COVID-19 vaccine dose recently. Courtesy of Bill Cummings
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