Illinois COVID Update: IL reports 4,156 new cases, 71 deaths; vaccine efforts ramp up

As Illinois COVID vaccination ramps up, 2nd appointments prove hard to find
CHICAGO (WLS) -- Illinois health officials reported 4,156 new COVID-19 cases and 71 deaths Friday.

The total number of cases in Illinois now stands at 1,120,528, with a total of 19,138 deaths, since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Within the past 24 hours, laboratories have reported 111,057 specimens for a total of 15,844,619.

RELATED: Illinois COVID vaccine map shows how many residents vaccinated by county

The preliminary seven-day statewide test positivity from Jan. 22-28 is 5.4%.

RELATED: Illinois coronavirus testing: Where to get tested for COVID-19 in Illinois, Chicago area

The test positivity rate is a metric the state began providing in late October. It is calculated by using the total number of positive tests over the total number of tests. This is the metric being used to by state health officials to make decisions about mitigations.

A total of 1,304,475 doses of vaccine have been delivered to providers in Illinois, including Chicago, with an additional 496,100 doses allocated to federal government partners for long-term care facilities, bringing the total number delivered in Illinois to 1,800,575.

Find out how many people may get a COVID-19 vaccine before you
EMBED More News Videos

Illinois Governor JB Pritzker said the state is receiving $43 million from FEMA for vaccine distribution



A total of 58,357 doses were administered Thursday, making it the third day in a row Illinois has seen a record-high number of vaccines administered. On Tuesday, 53,628 doses were administered and 55,865 on Wednesday.

RELATED: Johnson & Johnson vaccine 85% effective against severe COVID-19 disease

Johnson & Johnson's long-awaited vaccine appears to protect against COVID-19 with just one shot - not as strong as some two-shot rivals, but still potentially helpful for a world in dire need of more doses.

J&J said Friday that in the U.S. and seven other countries, the single-shot vaccine was 66% effective overall at preventing moderate to severe illness, and much more protective - 85% - against the most serious symptoms.

Only 1.4% of Illinois' population has received both doses of a vaccine.

In Chicago, health officials said they're receiving only about 35,000 vaccine doses a week, allowing them to administer only 5,000 doses a day, for vaccines that require two doses.

EMBED More News Videos

The city of Chicago is only receiving about 35,000 COVID vaccine doses a week, making only 5,000 doses available a day, health officials said.



"The federal government is directing us to do first and second doses and to make sure everybody is getting the doses at the right period of time," Pritzker said.

Rather than vaccinating as many people as possible with the first dose, Gov. Pritzker said the state does keep vaccines in reserve for second doses.

EMBED More News Videos

Getting an appointment for the second dose of the COVID vaccine can be harder than getting your first shot, and it must be done withing 3 weeks to be effective.



Second dose appointments are even harder to find for some than their initial shots.

"I kid you not, I was on that phone for about nine hours, yes I was, and it's impossible. It's a mess. That's more stress," said Jocelyn Jones.

Jones and her husband are both over 65 with underlying health conditions. She said the next appointments she could find through Cook County's portal were in March.

"It's not going to do us any good if we can't get the second one, and it's nearly impossible to get it," she said.

Cook County Health CEO Israel Rocha said he will look into the situation Jones described, and added more vaccine coming to the county and more staffers added to locations should allow appointments to be made on-site after getting the first dose.

"We are expanding our smaller sites, we are adding more team members to accommodate that feature, and we hope to have that available at all of the sites in the next few days," Rocha said.

Jones said she was eventually able to get appointments for her and her husband for their second COVID vaccine dose within the three-week window, but she did not get them through Cook County.

State Republicans are questioning Pritzker about the state's lagging efforts in the area. They note Illinois ranks 47th in overall vaccine distribution.

In a letter addressed to Pritzker, members of the Senate Republican Caucus said Illinois ranks 47th in overall vaccine distribution, with just 4.8% of Illinoisans receiving at least one shot as of Thursday.

"We are asking for you to provide a clear explanation to legislators and to the citizens of Illinois as to why Illinois is among the worst states in regard to getting vaccines out to those who need it most," the caucus said in the letter, adding that putting the blame on former President Donald Trump or the federal government is unsatisfactory.

Suburban teachers receive vaccines



As the Chicago Teachers Union insists educators should get the COVID-19 vaccine before returning to the classroom, more suburban teachers are receiving the shot.

More teachers and essential workers will get their shot in the arm Friday in Deerfield.

District 109 is working with local company Walgreens to vaccinate the Deerfield Public School staff. They will get their first dose of the two-shot Pfizer vaccine Friday; the second shot will be administered next month.

Earlier this week, DPS also approved a COVID-19 Testing Support Agreement with the University of Illinois for COVID-19 testing for students and staff. If approved, the testing program will test students and staff going back to school. More information on the agreement will be revealed in the coming weeks.

IDPH reports that a total of 887,845 vaccine doses have been administered, including 131,401 at long-term facilities. The seven-day rolling average of vaccines administered is 38,738.

The IDPH says that vaccine distribution numbers are reported in real-time, and vaccine administration numbers lag by as much as 72 hours.

EMBED More News Videos

Chicago is making progress in the fight against COVID-19, but there is frustration. Dr. Rachel Bernard, medical director with the Chicago Department of Public Health, discusses the



Walgreens is providing vaccines at 92 sites across the state and appointments can be made on their website while Jewel-Osco will begin vaccinating eligible residents Tuesday, with appointments available on their website.

Pritzker said there are plans to launch walk-in locations once the supply of vaccine increases. He also announced the creation of a new portal, coronavirus.illinois.gov, to provide the latest information on vaccines.

As of Thursday night, 2,735 patients in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19. Of those, 532 patients were in the ICU and 297 patients with COVID-19 were on ventilators.

The deaths reported Friday include:

- Bond County: 1 female 70s
- Champaign County: 1 male 60s
- Coles County: 1 male 60s
- Cook County: 1 female 40s, 1 female 50s, 2 males 50s, 1 female 60s, 3 males 60s, 1 female 70s, 2 males 70s, 1 female 80s, 3 males 80s, 1 male 90s
- DeKalb County: 1 female 60s
- Douglas County: 1 female 80s
- DuPage County: 1 female 70s, 1 male 90s
- Effingham County: 1 female 90s
- Fayette County: 1 male 90s

- Iroquois County: 1 female 90s
- Kane County: 1 female 20s, 1 male 60s, 2 males 70s, 1 male 80s, 1 female 90s, 1 male 90s
- Kendall County: 1 male 40s
- Lake County: 1 male 50s, 1 female 70s, 1 female 80s, 1 female 90s
- LaSalle County: 1 male 60s
- Logan County: 1 male 50s
- Madison County: 1 male 70s, 1 male 90s
- McHenry County: 2 female 70s, 1 male 70s, 1 male 80s
- Peoria County: 1 female 90s
- Piatt County: 1 male 80s
- Pike County: 1 male 60s
- Randolph County: 1 male 80s
- Rock Island County: 1 female 60s, 1 female 80s
- Saline County: 1 male 70s
- Shelby County: 1 male 90s
- St. Clair County: 2 males 70s, 1 male 90s
- Stephenson County: 1 female 70s, 1 female 80s
- Tazewell County: 1 male 60s, 1 female 80s
- Vermilion County: 1 male 60s
- Whiteside County: 1 male 70s
- Will County: 1 female 50s, 1 female 70s, 1 male 70s, 1 male 80s
- Williamson county: 1 female 90s
- Winnebago County: 1 male 80s, 1 female 90s, 1 male 90s

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Copyright © 2021 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.