SPRINGFIELD — Gov. J.B. Pritzker reiterated Thursday that all Illinois residents age 16 and older will be eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine beginning Monday, April 12, as vaccine supply – but also virus transmission rates and hospitalizations – continues to increase.
More than 80 of the state’s 102 counties, including Macon, have already opened eligibility to individuals age 16 and over in advance of the April 12 eligibility expansion date.
The decision to move to universal adult eligibility at each of the state’s more than 1,000 vaccination sites outside the city of Chicago comes as a result of increased availability of vaccine doses, Pritzker said. The governor first announced the April 12 goal on March 18.
“We have everything we need to get to the other side of this crisis as vaccine shipments increase and more Americans are ready to be vaccinated,” Pritzker said during a Thursday news conference. “Our fight to stay safe and protect ourselves isn’t over, but with each day and each dose, we move closer and closer to putting this pandemic to an end.”
In Macon County on Thursday, Crossing Healthcare will begin holding clinics for the one-dose Johnson & Johnson and two-dose Moderna vaccine starting Friday. Meanwhile, HSHS Medical Group announced that it had a limited amount of two-dose Moderna vaccine appointments available this Saturday at the group's drive-thru clinic, 5285 E. Maryland St., Suite A.
The Coles County Health Department announced Thursday that residents who live outside the county are eligibility for the clinics being conducted at Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center on Friday and Saturday through an Illinois National Guard vaccination program.
Advance registration is required for the clinics, which are scheduled for 9 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. both days. The clinics will be open to Illinois residents age 18 and older. Registration is available at https://events.juvare.com/IL-IDPH/0d751a4a-
About 18.64% of Macon County residents are now fully vaccinated, according to data from the Illinois Department of Public Health. The county's seven-day rolling average for vaccine doses administered per day is 630.
To date, 73% of Illinois seniors and 42% of Illinoisans 16 and over have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and over 2.5 million, or 20% of Illinois residents, had been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as of Wednesday.
The state has administered over 6.7 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine thus far and set a single-day record for vaccines administered with 154,201 doses Wednesday.
But virus transmission rates also continued to increase Thursday as the vast majority of Illinoisans are short of full vaccination.
Public health officials reported an additional 3,739 new cases of COVID-19 statewide out of 97,741 test results reported over the previous 24 hours. The state’s seven-day rolling positivity rate stood at 4.2 percent Thursday, the highest since Jan. 30 and up 0.7 percentage points from one week ago.
Macon County public health officials reported 17 new cases of COVID-19 Thursday, bringing the total to 10,032, including 185 deaths. Seven are hospitalized and 238 are in home isolation.
State officials also reported an increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations Thursday. As of Wednesday night, 1,798 individuals in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19. Of those, 351 were in the ICU and 151 were on ventilators. Those are highs since mid-February.
Pritzker encouraged residents who are able to make an appointment to receive a vaccine as soon as possible, but said some residents may still encounter difficulties in finding available appointments as the state continues to work to meet demand.
“Even with all of these new appointments, there will not be enough vaccine in week one to get everyone that wants to be vaccinated a dose, but vaccine doses will be arriving more quickly than ever before,” Pritzker said.
More information about the COVID-19 vaccine and appointment availability can be found at coronavirus.illinois.gov or by calling 833-621-1284.
Brenden Moore contributed to this report.