Vaccination rate triples in Illinois compared with last month

The Moderna vaccine is seen during the opening day of vaccinations on Jan. 18, 2021 for first responders at the Gillette Stadium/CIC Health COVID-19 Vaccination Site, in Foxborough, MA, the first large-scale vaccination site in Massachusetts. (Photo

As Illinois ramps up its inoculation effort, public health data shows vaccines were administered in the first half of February at triple the rate for the same period in January.

An average of about 57,000 shots were given per day in the first half of February, compared to an average of about 19,000 per day for the first 14 days of January, according to figures from the Illinois Department of Public Health.

But a shortage of vaccine shipments from the federal government means everyone eligible for a dose won’t be able to make an appointment, Gov. JB Pritzker said Friday. The vaccination rate was expected to continue to increase as the federal government ships vaccine doses in larger quantities.

Another 59,000 people on Saturday were vaccinated against COVID-19 in Illinois, raising the total doses administered to 1,783,345, according to the health department. Nearly a quarter million of those doses were administered at long-term health facilities.

In Illinois, 414,301 people have been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus since inoculations began mid-December. That’s 3.25% of the state’s 12.7 million people.

The state on Sunday also reported 35 more deaths from the coronavirus, along with 1,631 new confirmed cases from among 64,949 tests administered. Those cases bumped up the state’s rolling positivity average to 3.0%. Saturday’s average test positivity rate of 2.9% was the lowest the state’s seen since July.

Deaths reported Sunday included 14 people from the Chicago area, health officials said. Victims in Cook County ranged in age from a woman in her 50s to three people in their 90s.

Since the start of the pandemic, Illinois has reported 1,162,154 total confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 19,961 deaths.