Illinois surpasses 11 million COVID-19 vaccine doses administered
Vaccine providers in Illinois have crossed a new milestone, administering more than 11 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Illinois Department of Public Health figures show 7,850,518 doses have gone into the arms of residents between 16 and 64. Another 3,078,147 doses have been administered to residents 65 and older, while 121,000 doses have gone to children 12 and 15.
IDPH officials announced Wednesday that 59,494 of those doses were most recently administered, bringing the state's total to 11,049,665 since becoming available in December.
Arlington Heights resident Cindy Siuda got her first dose exactly one month ago in Des Plaines and will be fully vaccinated on Memorial Day.
"You know, I wasn't going to get it at all," said Siuda, 65. "But my mom just turned 92 and I wanted to get out and travel, so I just went. I've had absolutely no side effects. Guess that just means I'm in good shape."
State officials also announced anyone else who has been hesitant to get vaccinated will have additional opportunities during Memorial Day weekend. Partnering with Amtrak, Walmart, HyVee, TravelCenters of America and Wally's, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency is offering inoculations using the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine at Chicago's Union Station and five downstate gas stations and truck refueling centers.
"After an incredibly difficult year, lifesaving vaccines have truly opened the door for a summer of fun and venturing out, which is why Illinois is pulling out all the stops to make accessing these vaccines as easy as stopping for gas," Gov. J.B. Pritzker said.
State officials estimate some 30,000 travelers will pass through Union Station during the three days -- Friday, Saturday and Sunday -- when the vaccines will be available 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. Walmart is helping operate the Union Station clinic.
TravelCenters of America in Bloomington, Mount Vernon and Troy, as well as a Petro in Effingham, will host clinics at each location Saturday through Tuesday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5 to 8 p.m.
Wally's and HyVee in Pontiac will host a vaccination clinic 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Memorial Day. A free fountain drink will be offered to anyone who gets vaccinated at Wally's.
All vaccines are free and no proof of insurance is necessary to be vaccinated. Recipients don't need to be Illinois residents, either.
Today at the DuPage County Fairgrounds, the county health department is hosting a special vaccination clinic for eligible children 12 to 17 who will receive a ticket for free admission to Six Flags Great America for themselves and one accompanying adult.
So far, 5,143,545 Illinois residents are considered fully vaccinated, according to IDPH figures.
IDPH officials also reported another 1,139 new cases of COVID-19 and 27 deaths, including two in their 30s.
Since the outset of the pandemic, 22,676 Illinois residents have died from the virus and 1,378,388 have been infected, state records show.
Hospitalizations from the disease continue to decline.
Hospitals across the state reported treating 1,395 patients Tuesday, 351 of whom are in intensive care.
The statewide seven-day case positivity rate is at 2%, another pandemic low for Illinois.
The case positivity rate is the percentage of new cases emerging from a batch of test results and allows health officials to monitor the level of infection within a certain population. A seven-day average is used to account for any anomalies in the daily reporting of those figures.