Illinois trails other states in getting people fully vaccinated

(The Center Square) – Illinois continues to lag behind most other states in getting people fully vaccinated for the coronavirus.

To date, 6.8% of Illinoisans have received two shots. That is 46th in the country. Seven other states have fully vaccinated more than 10% of their residents.

“We need to ask everybody for continued patience and I think we are all frustrated because we would like to get vaccinated today,” Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Tuesday in Aurora.

Kayleen Carlson, president of the political action group Illinois Rising Action, says the Pritzker administration has to do better.

“Watching this vaccine rollout has kind of been a total mess,” Carlson said. “Gov. Pritzker has continued his practice of shifting blame onto others for his administration’s failures.”

Carlson said this isn’t the first time Pritzker has attempted to blame others for the failed COVID-19 vaccination rollout. She notes in January, Pritzker blamed the pharmacies for the delayed vaccinations of seniors living in long-term care facilities, which was following the plan the governor submitted to the federal government.

Pritzker said there just aren’t enough vaccines to go around. Over 100,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine are expected to arrive in Illinois this week.

Following the recent emergency use approval of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, President Joe Biden announced Tuesday that all U.S. adults will be able to receive a coronavirus vaccine by the end of May.

The emergency approval of the third vaccine, in addition to the collaboration between Merck and Johnson & Johnson, was instrumental in moving the target of the vaccines being available to all adult Americans from July to the end of May. Biden credited a “stepped-up process” in seeing the timeline accelerated by two months.

The federal mass vaccination site at the United Center in Chicago will begin to take appointments Thursday for Illinois senior citizens.

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