More Illinois kids ages 12 to 15 are getting COVID-19 shots
The number of COVID-19 vaccine shots given to children ages 12 to 15 has grown to 248,859 in a month, Illinois Department of Public Health records showed Wednesday.
There are 659,053 children in that age bracket, the IDPH reports, and more than 37% have received at least one dose since the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the use of Pfizer Inc.'s two-shot vaccine May 10.
In comparison, on June 4 there were 158,811 doses administered to that demographic or 24%.
The latest numbers stand in contrast to the slower rollout of vaccines to eligible adults that started in late December but were subject to supply problems with a meager allocation of doses at first.
"I am thrilled to hear those numbers and think it's an extremely positive trend," said Dr. Shelly Vaziri Flais, an author and a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
"As a pediatrician, I encourage all families with kids 12 and older to investigate what their local options are to get vaccinated, whether it's with their primary care physician, the public health department, or a chain pharmacy," added Flais, who is a partner at Pediatric Health Associates in Naperville.
New cases of COVID-19 reached 408 Wednesday, with 23 more deaths from the respiratory disease, the IDPH said.
The state's seven-day average case positivity rate ticked down to 1%, the lowest since the pandemic began.
On Tuesday, 50,231 more COVID-19 shots were administered. The seven-day average is 45,852.
The federal government has delivered 13,920,545 vaccine doses to Illinois since distribution began in mid-December, and 11,759,105 shots have been administered.
So far, 5,639,749 people -- 44.3% of the state's population -- have been fully vaccinated. Vaccines manufactured by Pfizer Inc. and Moderna Inc. require two doses several weeks apart. More than 68% of Illinois adults have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine.
Illinois hospitals were treating 797 COVID-19 patients Tuesday night.
Total cases statewide stand at 1,386,262, and 22,997 Illinoisans have died since the pandemic began.
Labs processed 41,758 virus tests in the last 24 hours.
Also Thursday, the IDPH announced it would expand saliva-based COVID-19 testing to elementary schools. It takes about 24 hours for results and would be free for students in districts considered low-income with high case rates, and $10 a test elsewhere.
Currently, saliva screening using the covidSHIELD test developed by the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana is allowed at middle schools and high schools. Suburban districts that used the U of I test this school year for older students include Elmhurst Unit District 205 and Glenbard High School District 87, but others have raised concerns about the cost.