COVID-19 booster shots surpass 667,000, daily infection averages slide in October
More than 667,000 COVID-19 booster shots have gone into Illinoisans' arms -- or about 31% of all COVID vaccine doses since mid-August, officials said Friday.
From Aug. 14, when initial approvals came for boosters, to Wednesday, there were 667,216 additional doses given, the Illinois Department of Public Health reported.
Federal authorization of Pfizer's booster in September, and Moderna and Johnson & Johnson's versions on Oct. 20 have bolstered stagnant vaccination numbers, with some daily totals surpassing 60,000 and 70,000 this week, tallies not seen since the spring and early summer.
For example, there were 66,668 more COVID-19 shots administered on Wednesday, and of those 45,406 (or 68%) were boosters.
Converging with the popularity of boosters have been government and private-sector vaccination mandates driving numbers. One occurred Tuesday when certain state workers employed in congregate settings such as veterans' homes were required to get their first shots.
Overall, new cases have declined in October with 2,345.4 a day on average. That's a 32.7% decrease from September's daily average of 3,485.5 infections and a 28% slide from August's 3,263.
New cases of COVID-19 totaled 2,649 Friday, with 22 more deaths from the respiratory disease, the state reported.
Illinois hospitals were treating 1,256 COVID-19 patients Thursday night, compared to the seven-day average of 1,233.7.
On Thursday, 62,164 more COVID-19 shots were administered. The seven-day average is 49,742.
The state's positivity rate for COVID-19 cases is 1.8% based on a seven-day average.
So far, 7,254,009 people have been fully vaccinated, or nearly 57% of Illinois' 12.7 million population.
The federal government has delivered 18,754,265 doses of vaccine to Illinois since distribution began in mid-December, and 15,542,790 shots have been administered.
Total cases statewide stand at 1,695,524, and 25,771 Illinoisans have died since the pandemic began.
Labs processed 150,555 virus tests in the last 24 hours.
Pfizer and Moderna's boosters are approved six months after a second dose for people age 65 and older, those with serious medical conditions or those who work in high-risk settings, such as hospitals. Anyone who had Johnson & Johnson's shot at least two months ago is approved for a second dose.