COVID-19 shots hit 135,525 in a day as state boosts vaccination clinics in DuPage, Kane

  • Thousands received their first dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine Wednesday at the Schaumburg Convention Center and are slated to return next month for their final dose.

    Thousands received their first dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine Wednesday at the Schaumburg Convention Center and are slated to return next month for their final dose. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 3/19/2021 6:29 PM

State health officials Friday announced 135,525 more doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered, the second-highest amount in a single day for Illinois providers.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker also announced Friday the launch of mass vaccination efforts in DuPage and Kane counties through partnerships with the county health departments.

 

"Ahead of our expansion to universal adult eligibility on April 12, I'm proud to launch expanded state operations in critical areas of access," the governor said.

He cited the need for greater vaccination availability in "high-density collar counties." The state has built up mass vaccination sites already in suburban Cook County as well as in Lake and McHenry counties.

DuPage County Health Department officials said the extra resources will be used at the county's existing vaccination site at the DuPage County Fairgrounds in Wheaton, allowing it to operate at full capacity. Saturday hours will also be added, according to the health department.

The Kane County Health Department is operating a vaccination site at a former Sam's Club in Batavia, and the state will add personnel and other resources to boost vaccinations.

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Both sites will be available to all Illinoisans, according to a news release from the governor's office.

With Friday's additional vaccinations, 4,510,696 doses have been administered statewide, with 1,690,834 Illinois residents and workers now fully vaccinated, almost 13.3% of the population, according to Illinois Department of Public Health records.

State vaccine providers are averaging more than 102,000 inoculations a day over the past week.

That includes more than 12,500 Lake County teachers, school district staff and child care providers who received doses through a partnership between the health department and 45 public school districts.

"Vaccinating Lake County's public and private school education staff and child care workers has been a priority of our department because of the exposure risks in these settings and the heavy burdens that working families have had to carry throughout this pandemic," said Mark Pfister, executive director at the Lake County Health Department.

More than 25,000 doses of the vaccine will be administered through this project, county health officials said Friday. More than 17,000 doses have already gone into arms.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

IDPH officials reported on Friday that 12 more Illinois residents died from COVID-19, while another 2,380 new cases were diagnosed.

Since the outset of the pandemic, 21,034 Illinois residents have died and 1,218,470 have been infected, according to state figures.

Statewide, 1,132 hospital patients were being treated for COVID-19 infections. Of those hospitalized, 242 were in intensive care.

The state's seven-day average case positivity rate is at 2.5%, increasing for the third straight day. Case positivity shows the percentage of new cases diagnosed from the number of test results returned.

In DuPage County, the seven-day case positivity rate is at 5.1%, the highest level since late January. County health officials blame the uptick on a spurt of infections among younger residents.

IDPH officials are also reporting there have been 133 cases of COVID-19 variants diagnosed statewide, up eight from Tuesday. There have now been 125 cases of the U.K. variant diagnosed, three cases of the South African strain and five cases of the Brazilian variant, including one diagnosed earlier this week in Lake County.

Vaccines have so far been shown to recognize and combat the variants, but they are more easily spread than the original COVID-19 strain that started the pandemic more than a year ago.

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