DuPage Leads The Area With The Most People Vaccinated

CBS 2's Marie Saavedra reports public health experts credit people in DuPage County getting their COVID shots from primary care providers.

Video Transcript

- And 3.7 million people in the state now fully vaccinated. That, almost 30% of the population. But in one suburban county, we found those numbers are even higher. DuPage County is leading the pack when it comes to vaccinations. CBS 2's Marie Saavedra spent the day trying to figure out why. Marie.

MARIE SAAVEDRA: Well, Brad, DuPage County spent the start of their vaccination effort, like every place in Illinois, just waiting for doses. When they got that supply, though, their strategy in delivery was different from a lot of counties. And that helps explain these numbers.

KAREN AYALA: The more convenient, the better.

MARIE SAAVEDRA: That is the mantra Karen Ayala, executive director of the DuPage County Health Department, has lived by in her effort to get people vaccinated. Now, at the end of April, they have the doses they need.

KAREN AYALA: Well, for the first time last week, our supply equaled our demand.

MARIE SAAVEDRA: And data shows people living in DuPage are eager to get them. Our CBS 2 vaccine tracker is compiling numbers from Illinois' Department of public health. We ranked the top five counties with the highest percentage of residents fully vaccinated. Sangamon, home to the state capital, is first, with 35.6%. Monroe and Adams County, to the south and west, follow. Then, it's DuPage County, at 32.8% of the population vaccinated. They're tied for fourth with Mercer County, near the Quad Cities.

Here at home, DuPage is the clear leader in our area, with Cook County the closest at 30.8%. So why is DuPage doing so well? Ayala says it's because, unlike most counties, shots went to people's doctor's offices in the first phases.

KAREN AYALA: We wanted to make sure that people, you know, were getting their vaccines from their primary-care doc and that it was coming with that sense of security and kind of affirmation that, yes, this is the right thing to do.

MARIE SAAVEDRA: Later, pharmacies and this mass-vaccination site at the DuPage County Fairgrounds helped. But Ayala says that immediate outreach from doctors made finding shots simple and eased hesitancy. The goal is to keep those numbers high to get DuPage page to herd immunity faster.

DuPage County also says with more supply and more staffing, they've been able to get more shots at that mass-vaccination site at the fairgrounds. They're now up to 2,000 people a day. And that is a big help in this effort. We're live tonight, Marie Saavedra, CBS 2 News.