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COVID-19 roundup

Monday, May 3, 2021

* One of these is an Illinois Policy Institute headline/lede and the other is a Sun-Times headline/lede. Wanna guess which is which?…

* Illinois public health officials considering ‘vaccine passport’: Days after Chicago officials floated the idea of requiring vaccine passports, Illinois public health officials revealed they’re also considering a “vaccine passport” for residents.

* Vaccine passports not arriving — or required — in Illinois, Pritzker says: Gov. J.B. Pritzker is taking a pass on the “Vax Pass.” Days after Chicago public health officials teased the idea of a COVID-19 vaccine passport that residents would need for admission to select concerts and other crowded summer events, Pritzker on Friday said the state won’t be implementing any mandatory system for Illinoisans to prove they’ve been fully immunized against the coronavirus.


The mass inoculation of millions of American children against polio in 1955, like the vaccinations of millions of American adults against COVID-19 in 2021, was a triumph of science.

But the polio vaccine had overwhelming public acceptance, while stubborn pockets of vaccine hesitancy persist across the U.S. for the COVID-19 vaccine. Why the difference? One reason, historians say, is that in 1955, many Americans had an especially deep respect for science.

“If you had to pick a moment as the high point of respect for scientific discovery, it would have been then,” says David M. Oshinsky, a medical historian at New York University and the author of Polio: An American Story. “After World War II, you had antibiotics rolling off the production line for the first time. People believed infectious disease was [being] conquered. And then this amazing vaccine is announced. People couldn’t get it fast enough.”

* Peoria Journal Star

Now that the rush to get vaccinated has slowed to a trickle, health officials are shifting gears to convince the rest of Central Illinois to roll up their sleeves.

At this point, about 60% of Tri-County residents have not received even a single dose.

Reasons for this are numerous. Some people simply haven’t gotten around to it yet, and some have transportation issues or, lacking computer skills, aren’t sure how to get an appointment.

Others distrust vaccines, a long-standing issue that has been exacerbated in recent years by widening political divisions and a plethora of misleading and downright false information online. There are also concerns about a vaccine that was developed so quickly; some people are waiting to see what happens to others before they get vaccinated.

The problem is that time is of the essence. The longer COVID-19 circulates through the population, the greater the chance it will mutate into a vaccine-resistant form. Health officials want to tamp down the fire now.

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver ran a pretty good piece on the vax resistance topic last night. Click here to watch it, but some of the language is NSFW.

As Oliver noted, the hardcore anti-vaxxers and careless (or worse) news media outlets are successfully sowing doubt in about a quarter of the population.

* And the Sun-Times looks at the costs of running vaccine sites

The bigger the site, the cheaper the per-unit cost of the vaccine dose. Megasites can average $62 per dose per day, while the smallest sites, averaging 2,500 square feet, approach nearly $200 per dose.

Then there’s the one-time costs, assuming the vaccine sites are open for three months: the freezers, the message boards in the parking lots, chairs and tables, Internet hotspots. For a megasite, the one-time costs can reach nearly $1.5 million. For the smallest sites, $140,000.

And finally the materials: needles, syringes, alcohol prep pads, Band-Aids, gloves, masks, shields, oxygen, Epi-Pens, antihistamines. The range from small to mega, each day: $3,000 to $22,000.

What the spreadsheet and the Adams County figures underscore: It can be considerably expensive, on a per-shot basis, to vaccinate those in more rural or underserved areas of the country.

* Tribune live blog headlines

COVID-19 risk greater if passengers board plane back to front, study shows

Reaching herd immunity to COVID-19 in US unlikely due to variants, resistance to vaccines, experts say

Public transit hopes to win back riders after crushing year

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - PublicServant - Monday, May 3, 21 @ 11:57 am:

    Well during the black plague didn’t the authorities have a “Bring out your dead” cart? Maybe we could have a rolling speaker truck slowly rolling down the streets 10 minutes ahead of the covid shot RV…

  2. - DuPage Saint - Monday, May 3, 21 @ 12:13 pm:

    I took my daughter to Tinley Park convention center at I 80 and Harlem Avenue on Saturday at 1:30. She had an appointment. You could get any of the 3 vaccines. There was also a large sign saying walk ins welcome. She was one of five people getting vaccinated. Lots of National Guard and Tinley Park police all for 5 people

  3. - AC - Monday, May 3, 21 @ 12:35 pm:

    Widespread vaccine availability, combined with feel good ads from the CDC and IDPH that preach to the choir aren’t working. Sangamon County has seen their 7 day moving average for vaccinations drop to just 765, with only 37.5% of the population fully vaccinated. As bad as those numbers seem, it’s far worse in Alexander County whose 7 day rolling average is down to just 6 doses per day with only about 11% of the population fully vaccinated.

    We have the vaccine supply to bring about an end to the pandemic fairly quickly. Israel continues to report approximately the same number of new cases per day for the entire country as Sangamon County. Unless something changes, Illinois will continue to see moderately high numbers, and a pandemic that continues months longer than necessary. We need a new strategy.

  4. - Grandson of Man - Monday, May 3, 21 @ 1:10 pm:

    “many Americans had an especially deep respect for science”

    That was when the GOP base trusted government institutions and was not a demented anti-science cult.

  5. - Grimlock - Monday, May 3, 21 @ 1:43 pm:

    While I would support a mandate at the state or federal level, it would only further push away the uneducated and conspiracy-minded folks. We need some employers and large events/attractions to start making it a requirement.

  6. - Jocko - Monday, May 3, 21 @ 2:19 pm:

    ==Others distrust vaccines==

    I would argue that others 𝘸𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘮𝘢𝘥𝘦 𝘵𝘰 distrust vaccines. Andrew Wakefield lied about vaccines causing autism (which Trump believes) and Trump ‘hemmed and hawed’ when he would get the shot (in mid-December)…which he did in secret (in mid-January)

  7. - Pundent - Monday, May 3, 21 @ 4:12 pm:

    =We need some employers and large events/attractions to start making it a requirement.=

    This all day. There was a time where the GOP considered themselves the party of business. And business would support this all day every day because it’s good for business. If vaccinated people continue to avoid businesses and large gathering places it will continue to inflict harm on the economy. There just aren’t enough covid deniers and anti-vaxxers to support fuel sustainable economic growth.

  8. - LastOneIn - Monday, May 3, 21 @ 6:24 pm:

    Forget about the anti-vaxxers - they are hopeless and chose their fate.
    As soon as CDC allows, get the vaccines to children.
    Meanwhile give the excess vaccines to Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean.
    Then countries such as the Philippines - poor, friendly, lots of USA workers and family members there.

  9. - Pundent - Monday, May 3, 21 @ 8:57 pm:

    = Forget about the anti-vaxxers - they are hopeless and chose their fate.=

    They’re choosing our fate as well.

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