50% of Illinois residents now fully vaccinated

Illinois hit another COVID-19 vaccination milestone Tuesday with more than 50% of the state's population now fully vaccinated, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

"I'm proud we're ahead of the national average in our vaccination efforts. That's incredible progress," Gov. J.B. Pritzker tweeted Tuesday afternoon. "COVID vaccines are our best tool to fully return to normal."

Illinois surpassed the halfway point for fully vaccinated residents as IDPH officials announced 18,491 more doses of the COVID-19 vaccine had been administered.

That brings the total number of doses administered statewide to 12,987,990, according to IDPH records.

While more than half the state's overall population is now fully vaccinated, IDPH records show 55.7% of the state's vaccine-eligible population of residents 12 and older are now fully vaccinated, with 71.2% of that population having received at least one dose.

The state's vaccine providers are averaging 19,569 shots a day during the past week, with residents in suburban Cook County and the five collar counties of DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry and Will currently receiving 44.7% of those doses, according to IDPH records.

Chicago residents are getting 22.6% of the vaccine doses, while downstate residents are getting 32.7% of the shots.

More than half the doses being administered in Illinois were going into the arms of suburban residents for much of June, all of May and the last half of April, according to IDPH figures.

But most recently, downstate residents are making up a larger share of vaccine recipients as infections spike in counties near the Missouri border because of a surge of cases in that state.

Meanwhile, IDPH records also show six more Illinois residents have died from the disease, with 745 new cases diagnosed as well.

The more contagious delta variant of the virus is being blamed for a growth in cases in Illinois.

The state's death toll from the disease now stands at 23,383, with 1,403,508 Illinois residents who have been infected since the pandemic began, according to IDPH figures.

Hospitals throughout the state are currently treating 601 COVID-19 patients, with 116 of them in intensive care.

The state's seven-day average case positivity rate is at 2.6%, up slightly from Monday. Case positivity is the percentage of new cases derived from a batch of tests. It allows health officials to track the growth of infection within a certain population. A seven-day average is used to account for anomalies in the daily reporting of those figures.

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