Illinois one of just 16 states with 20% of children 12-17 getting at least one shot
Illinois is just one of 16 states where more than 20% of children eligible for COVID-19 vaccines have received at least one dose.
That's according to a Daily Herald analysis of data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health's Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results program.
The data show 198,909 children ages 12 through 17 have received at least one dose of the vaccine, while 73,222 of them are considered fully vaccinated. That represents 20.2% of Illinois children in that age group who have received at least one dose of the vaccine, and 7.4% of the estimated 983,859 vaccine-eligible children in Illinois who are now fully vaccinated.
Sixteen states have a higher rate of fully vaccinated eligible children than Illinois, according to figures from the government agencies.
California is the only state with a larger population than Illinois to have a higher percentage of eligible children who have received at least one dose of the vaccine.
In Hawaii, 33.4% of eligible children have received at least one dose of the vaccine, the highest rate among the 50 states.
Connecticut has the highest rate of fully vaccinated children 12 to 17, with 11.7% of that age group immunized.
Nationally, 15.9% of eligible children under 18 have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Additionally, 6.9% of children 12 to 17 are fully vaccinated, the data shows.
Public health and education officials throughout the state have been promoting vaccination after a CDC panel's approval of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine for children as young as 12 last week. The Illinois State Board of Education earlier this week approved a resolution signaling all public schools must offer full, in-person learning "for all student attendance days" during the next school year. The resolution does not require vaccination for students or school district staffs and faculty.
The Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines have not been approved for anyone under age 18. Pfizer officials expect to seek approval for their vaccine's use on children 2 to 11 by September.
Health officials are promoting vaccination as the surest way to a normal school year beginning in August. Many districts are restricting remote learning options for students next year.
In Round Lake Unit District 116, students have to be under age 12 and under a quarantine order to participate in remote learning, according to a recently released district "return to in-person learning" report.
"The guidance we have received so far from ISBE does not provide any waiver for at-risk students anymore, so that's how we're reading it at this time, but that may change," District 116 spokeswoman Heather Bennett said.
Students who have been vaccinated wouldn't have to quarantine if they came into contact with someone who tests positive for the virus, unless they appeared symptomatic.
State officials continue to pursue youth vaccination enticements. Last week, Gov. J.B. Pritzker and officials from Six Flags Great America announced ticket giveaways with proof of vaccination.
U.S. Rep Brad Schneider is promoting a Lake County Health Department "School Spirit Day" vaccination event at the county fairgrounds in Grayslake that starts at 9:30 a.m. Sunday. According to a news release, "attendees who wear school colors, athletic uniforms or even prom attire will have an extra chance at the raffle and giveaways."