Illinois health officials announced 3,170 new cases of COVID-19 and 33 related deaths Thursday.
ERIC HORNG: As Chicago joins the rest of Illinois in expanding vaccine eligibility as broadly as possible, the State appears to be shifting its allocation strategy, sending less vaccine downstate and more to the Chicago area. With everyone in the State 16 and older now eligible, Erie Family Health Centers says it's hearing from parents eager to get their teens vaccinated.
SARA NAURECKAS: Our sites with Pfizer are full this week, so again, the 16 and 17-year-olds have to get Pfizer. That's what they've been approved for so far, and all the places we have Pfizer are full this week all ready.
ERIC HORNG: The timing critical, with teens and young adults driving the recent rise in infections.
MICHAEL ANGARONE: Over the past month or so, we've really seen those teenagers, those kind of 16 or 18 to 29 group, that's really been impacting the pandemic.
ERIC HORNG: While the pausing of the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine has dealt a blow to supply, total allocations for the Chicago area are surging. DuPage County said to receive this week an all time high of more than 44,000 first doses. That's 85% more than its previous weekly high, this after it was announced the State was sending Chicago more than 50,000 doses.
LORI LIGHTFOOT: It's my expectation as we start to get more vaccine, more and more people, including younger people will get the vaccine.
ERIC HORNG: Where is that supply coming from after? Months of allocating vaccine based on county population, State data shows more than 60, mostly downstate counties are receiving zero first doses from the State this week. That apparent shift in allocations comes after months of reports of Chicago-area residents driving downstate to get their doses.