The state of Illinois will open up vaccinations to 12-15 year olds Thursday, following approval from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to distribute the Pfizer vaccine to that age group.
Vaccination sites across Illinois can begin providing the vaccine to the adolescents with sign up commencing Wednesday afternoon. Memorial Health System and CVS also announced Wednesday that they would begin distribution at their sites Thursday, with appointments and walk-ins accepted.
* New York Times…
According to a new U.S. census estimate, some 30 million American adults who are open to getting a coronavirus vaccine have not managed to actually do so. Their ranks are larger than the hesitant — more than the 28 million who said they would probably or definitely not get vaccinated, and than the 16 million who said they were unsure. And this month, as the Biden administration set a goal of 70 percent of adults getting at least one dose by July 4, they became an official new focus of the nation’s mass vaccination campaign.
In addition to “the doubters,” President Biden said at a news briefing last week, the mission is to get the vaccine to those who are “just not sure how to get to where they want to go.”
If the attention has centered on the vaccine hesitant, these are the vaccine amenable. In interviews, their stated reasons for not getting vaccines are disparate, complex and sometimes shifting.
They are, for the most part, America’s working class, contending with jobs and family obligations that make for scarce discretionary time. About half of them live in households with incomes of less than $50,000 a year; another 30 percent have annual household incomes between $50,000 and $100,000, according to an analysis of the census data by Justin Feldman, a social epidemiologist at Harvard. Eighty-one percent do not have a college degree. Some have health issues or disabilities or face language barriers that can make getting inoculated against Covid-19 seem daunting. Others do not have a regular doctor, and some are socially isolated.
Technically, they have access to the vaccine. Practically, it is not that simple.
Northwestern University is another local college to require students to be vaccinated before returning to campus this fall.
“As confidence increases in the effectiveness and safety of the vaccine and the supply has met the demand in Illinois, Northwestern will require students to be vaccinated against COVID-19 for the 2021-22 academic year,” the school said. “COVID-19 vaccines are the most important tool to help end the pandemic, and requiring students to be vaccinated will best support the health of our community and position us for in-person classroom and co-curricular activities for the fall term.” […]
NU is not currently requiring vaccination for faculty and staff. “We have not yet made a decision on whether to require faculty and staff to be vaccinated. We are continuing to evaluate the situation,” a spokesman said in an email.
* ABC 7…
An I-Team analysis of IDPH data since vaccine demand peaked statewide in mid- April reveals in the southern region of Illinois, the seven-day average of vaccines administered is down 60%. For the Northwest regions, demand has dipped 54%. In the suburban regions, including Cook County, there’s a decrease of 46%. Chicago has seen a 48% drop over the same period.
* I received a lot of texts about this yesterday…
Officials across the United States are looking for unique solutions to overcome coronavirus vaccine hesitancy, and Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine upped the ante in a big way.
In a series of social media posts Wednesday, DeWine announced that the state of Ohio will randomly select five residents who have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine, and those residents will receive a prize of $1 million.
The drawings will begin on May 26, and will occur on each successive Wednesday for five consecutive weeks, DeWine says:
*** UPDATE *** Press release…
Following yesterday’s expansion of vaccine eligibility to 12- to 15-year-olds, Governor JB Pritzker announced that Six Flags Great America – the Thrill Capital of the Midwest – will offer 50,000 free tickets to their parks in Gurnee and Rockford to newly vaccinated Illinois residents.
The value of the donated tickets is $4 million.
“Throughout the pandemic, Six Flags has been All In for Illinois, putting the health of workers and visitors first,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “I know it’s been a difficult year – but that just makes it all the more exciting to be back at the park. Thanks to the life-saving power of vaccinations, it feels once again like summer’s in the air.”
“Six Flags Great America is proud to support the state of Illinois vaccination efforts, especially in underrepresented communities,” said Six Flags Great America Park President Hank Salemi. “We’re getting back to the thrills and want to do our part to encourage residents to get vaccinated.”
Health experts agree that getting vaccinated is how we’ll all get back to the things we’ve missed during the pandemic, including thrilling rollercoasters, waterparks and live entertainment.
To make sure the tickets have broad reach, the state is sending Illinois National Guard mobile vaccination teams to their Gurnee location starting the first weekend in June: Saturday the 5th and Sunday the 6th. If turnout is high, vaccination teams will return to continue offering this lifesaving protection to residents. Six Flags Great America will announce additional details in the coming weeks.
In addition, a significant portion of the tickets will be distributed through local health departments to use in the way that will best work in their community. Specific initiatives will be rolled out by the departments of public health in the city of Chicago, Cook County and the Collar Counties — including equity mobile missions in neighborhoods with lower vaccination rates, school-based clinics, full-family vaccination initiatives and mass vaccination clinics. More information will become available on a county-by-county basis.
Finally, to focus on underserved youth and their families, the Vaccine Corps Partnership incubated at Michael Reese Health Trust will deploy the tickets as a part of their hyper-local vaccine education campaign. The organization works with community-led organizations to build trust in the vaccine, primarily in the city of Chicago and Cook County. Learn more about the partnership on their website.
The latest vaccine incentive announcement comes on the heels of the federal authorization of the Pfizer vaccine for 12- to 15-year-olds, which young people can get on its own or along with other routine vaccinations. Residents are encouraged to use the CDC’s vaccine finder tool at www.vaccines.gov to see which locations have vaccine available and to filter by manufacturer.