As COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Chicago, the highest rate of transmission in the city is among unvaccinated 12-17 year olds.
“Unvaccinated teenagers are not only responsible for a large part of our outbreak, they are [at a] much, much higher risk of developing COVID, “said Dr. Allison Arwday, commissioner for the Chicago Department of Health, during a Facebook live event Tuesday.
Chicago’s seven-day vaccination average shows the lowest percentage of vaccines administered among 5-11 year olds, followed by 12-17 year olds.
Chicago COVID-19 cases are up 10 percent from the previous week, with unvaccinated 12 to 17 year olds seeing the sharpest increase among unvaccinated people.
The city’s top doctor said that among unvaccinated 15-17 year olds in Chicago, unvaccinated 15-17 year olds are seven times more likely to be diagnosed with COVID than their fully vaccinated counterparts, and unvaccinated 12-14 -Year-olds are more than ten times more likely.
Hospital stays have been relatively flat for teenagers, but have increased sharply for people over 65 years of age.
“Unvaccinated Chicagoans of all ages are more likely to be hospitalized,” said Arwday.
Chicago remains in “high transmission” for COVID-19 risk with 455 diagnosed cases per day. Arwday assumes that the number will continue to rise.
Children aged 5 and over are now eligible for coronavirus vaccines. For adults who want a booster vaccination, the Cook County Department of Health said Tuesday, “No one who seeks a booster vaccination will be turned away from a vaccination center.”