Illinois Ranks Last For Administering Second COVID-19 Shot

Gov. JB Pritzker said there is a valid reason why it's the case. CBS 2's Chris Tye reports.

Video Transcript

- Illinois tonight, finds itself at the bottom of a very important list. We are 50th of all 50 states for people per capita who have received both one and two vaccinations against COVID-19. CBS 2's Chris Tye covered that stat. Asked the Governor, Chris that's not a good stat. He asked the governor about it today. Here's what the Governor said. Chris.

CHRIS TYE: Yeah, so let's put this in perspective. The Governor said this has everything to do with the fact that Illinois elongated the window of time for 1A workers to have that exclusive window to get vaccinated in the state, giving them more time. Let's remember now, here 1A workers are those who are health care workers or long term care workers.

They had the first crack at vaccinations coast to coast and here in Illinois. Most states didn't elongate their 1A windows. Most states went to 1B faster. Those that move to 1B faster, the governor says, got to offer second shots to that group faster. And when that happens, that drops Illinois's ranking in that category.

JB PRITZKER: We wanted to make sure in phase 1A, that the health care workers were covered completely. And we remained in phase 1A longer than other states-- for a week longer than other states. They're seeing many more second doses being delivered to them than they've seen before.

CHRIS TYE: But he did not deny that Illinois is indeed 50 out of 50 in that second shot per capita number. Now one of the other trickle down effects of this, those that are in the 1B category are having a harder time getting appointments than their friends and relatives in other states, Brad.

They say you can't get appointment number one, until there's a vaccine number two with your name on it. And when you are last in that second category, it makes it trickier. So there's a lot of moving parts here.

- Yeah, tell me about it. It seems like everyone I know in different states are far ahead of us. So the 50th out of 50 despite the governor's spinning is not a good thing. So in your exchange with the Governor, the first thing he said was the category where Illinois ranks number one, what was that about?

CHRIS TYE: Yeah, he started with the news that made the Office of the Governor look a little better, and here's what he said. He said that of all of the large states in this country, think Texas, California, New York, Illinois, Georgia, we are number one per capita in first shots. When he said, that he was right. Later in the day, California eclipsed us.

This is a report card that changes minute by minute. When you take per capita out of it, and you just say, which state has put the most number of first shots in arms, Illinois actually ranks 19th out of 50. Again a lot of numbers here. But this is something we're kind of keeping tracks on because this is sort of where the rubber meets the road in getting us out of the worst of the pandemic.

- And say we are first in first shots. Doesn't matter if we get the first shot. Only works with the second shot. Chris Tyre, Thanks tonight.