Illinois' Dr. Ngozi Ezike gets COVID-19 vaccine at Chicago area clinic

Illinois’ top doctor received a COVID-19 vaccine Tuesday at a suburban Chicago clinic after delivering an emotional address about the difficulties of the pandemic for health care workers and her own family.

Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said she was getting vaccinated for her children and her husband, who was diagnosed earlier this year with a medical condition that put him at a higher risk. She added that she wanted to see family members again for real hugs, not virtual ones.

"I hugged and cried with my mother in person during my father’s burial in February and I am desperate to touch and hold and kiss my sweet mother again," she said before getting the shot at a Cook County clinic in North Riverside. "I can’t wait until we have enough for every single person so we can put this nightmare behind us."

Illinois officials said Tuesday that the state has received has received roughly 870,000 vaccine doses. Nearly 640,000 have been delivered to providers and about 231,000 are going to long-term care facilities through a federal government partnership. The state is currently offering the shots to health care workers and residents and employees of nursing homes. The next phase will include essential workers and residents age 65 and older.

Also Tuesday, public health officials said Illinois had logged another 6,642 new confirmed and probable cases and 117 additional deaths. Overall, Illinois has reported more than 1 million cases and 17,743 deaths.