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Suburban immunization rates for children ages 5 to 11 are among the highest in the state, but are uneven

COVID-19 immunization 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 children in the cohort had received at least one vaccination against COVID-19, followed by Lake County and Chicago at 45.5%, and suburban Cook County at 40.3%.

Kane County reported that 32.1% of children in the age group were vaccinated at one dose or more, and McHenry County has a 31.9% immunization rate.

Will County is at 33.1%.

Children ages 5 to 11 are the latest group approved for vaccinations, with Pfizer Inc.’s vaccination being approved on November 2nd.

Elsewhere in Illinois, pediatric immunization rates were less than 1% in Hardin County and 2% in Alexander County.

The state on Tuesday reported 13,706 new COVID-19 cases, down from the seven-day average of 24,083, with 121 more deaths from the respiratory illness.

“The data here continues to look very good,” Chicago Department of Health commissioner Allison Arwady said at a Tuesday briefing, noting that new cases in the city were down 50% from the previous week.

“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 rise and peak and now a very rapid fall” in infections.

Illinois hospitals were treating 5,183 COVID-19 patients as of Monday night.

The state’s 7-day case positivity rate is 11.6%.

The total number of cases recorded in the nationwide pandemic stands at 2,851,567, and 30,276 Illinois residents have died.

On Monday, 29,570 more COVID-19 vaccinations were administered. The seven-day moving average is 41,692.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control, 8,330,026 Illinois residents have been fully vaccinated to date, accounting for 65.7% of the state’s 12.7 million residents.

Of the fully vaccinated Illinoisans, 46% received a booster shot.

Arwady addressed questions about the CDC’s and Chicago Department of Health’s recent use of the term “current” in relation to immunizations and how it relates to “fully vaccinated.”

“Fully vaccinated continues to mean that you have received your first batch of the COVID-19 vaccine,” she said. “That means you had a dose of Johnson & Johnson or two doses of either Pfizer or Moderna (shot).

“The reason we say ‘fully vaccinated’ is that this is the most important thing to keep you safe. This is what you currently need to show to get into high-risk environments in Chicago.

But getting a booster shot when you’re eligible is also crucial to staying healthy, especially with the recent Omicron surge, Arwady said.

“We use the term ‘current’ to mean you have received all recommended COVID-19 vaccines, including any booster doses,” she said.

The federal government has shipped 22,936,745 doses of vaccine to Illinois and administered 20,305,739 shots since distribution began.

Labs have processed 125,097 virus tests in the last 24 hours.

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