Vaccination rates in the suburbs for kids 5 to 11 among state's highest but inconsistent
COVID-19 vaccination rates for children ages 5 to 11 in the suburbs and Chicago are among the highest in the state, but significant gaps exist between counties, state data showed Tuesday
In DuPage County, 47.6% of kids in the cohort had received at least one shot of COVID-19 vaccine, followed by Lake County and Chicago at 45.5%, and suburban Cook County at 40.3%.
Kane County reported 32.1% of kids in the age group were vaccinated with one dose or more, and McHenry County has a 31.9% vaccination rate.
Will County is at 33.1%.
Children 5 to 11 are the newest group to be approved for vaccinations, with Pfizer Inc.'s shot being approved Nov. 2.
Elsewhere in Illinois, rates for pediatric vaccinations were less than 1% in Hardin County and 2% in Alexander County.
The state reported 13,706 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday, a drop from the seven-day average of 24,083, with 121 more deaths from the respiratory disease.
"The data here continues to look really good," Chicago Health Department Commissioner Allison Arwady said at a briefing Tuesday, noting that new cases in the city declined by 50% compared to the week before.
"It's amazing to me that omicron started here in early December," she said referring to the super-infectious COVID-19 variant. "Here we are, we're not even at the end of January, and we've seen a rapid increase and peak, and now a very rapid decrease" in infections.
Illinois hospitals were treating 5,183 COVID-19 patients Monday night.
The state's seven-day case positivity rate is 11.6%.
The total cases recorded in the pandemic statewide stand at 2,851,567, and 30,276 Illinoisans have died.
On Monday, 29,570 more COVID-19 shots were administered. The seven-day average is 41,692.
So far, 8,330,026 Illinoisans have been fully vaccinated, or 65.7% of the state's 12.7 million population, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.
Of those Illinoisans who are fully vaccinated, 46% have received a booster shot.
Arwady addressed questions about the CDC's and the Chicago health department's recent use of the term "up to date" on vaccinations and how that relates to "fully vaccinated."
"Fully vaccinated continues to mean you've received your primary series of the COVID-19 vaccine," she said. "Meaning you've had one dose of Johnson & Johnson's or two doses of either Pfizer or Moderna's (shot).
"The reason we say 'fully vaccinated' is that is the most important thing in terms of protecting you. That is what you need to show currently to get into high-risk settings in Chicago; that's generally what most employers are requiring."
But getting a booster shot if you're eligible is also crucial to staying healthy, particularly with the recent omicron surge, Arwady said.
"We're using the term 'up to date' to mean that you have received all recommended COVID-19 vaccines, including any booster doses when eligible," she said.
The federal government has delivered 22,936,745 doses of vaccine to Illinois since distribution began, and 20,305,739 shots have been administered.
Labs processed 125,097 virus tests in the last 24 hours.