Capitol – Your Illinois News Radar » COVID-19 roundup

* Jake Griffin at the Daily Herald

COVID-19 vaccine providers throughout Illinois are again averaging more than 80,000 shots a day after spending all of last week below that threshold.

Illinois Department of Public Health figures show providers averaged 81,265 shots a day over the past week. Four days ago, the state was averaging fewer than 66,000 shots a day as part of a two-week decline in shots administered. At its peak just under a month ago, the state was averaging more than 132,000 shots a day.

Declines in average daily new cases and hospitalizations keep Illinois on track to reach the Bridge Phase on Friday, with loosened capacities for businesses and social gatherings, state health officials say.

* There’s often a money grift with these folks

Sayer Ji is a 48-year-old proponent of what he calls natural medicine.

“My parents didn’t know about natural medicine, so it really wasn’t until I was 17 that I learned some basic principles of nutrition and self care,” he told attendees at a recent virtual conference. “I was liberated from needing pharmaceutical medicines.”

Ji was also there promoting his website, full of natural remedies and reams of anti-vaccine misinformation. He sells subscriptions for anywhere from $75 to $850 a year.

He is one of many anti-vaccine advocates with a business on the side. They promote false claims about the dangers vaccines pose, while selling treatments, supplementals or other services. Their potential market is the roughly 20% of Americans say they do not want to get vaccinated against the coronavirus, according to recent polling.

* Back to Jake Griffin

While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved use of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine Monday for anyone 12 and older, a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention immunization panel still has to authorize its use for 12- to 15-year-olds. That move is expected Wednesday. […]

“We are now seeing the highest rates of COVID-19 infections in younger people,” said Dr. Gregory Huhn, infectious disease physician and Cook County Health’s COVID-19 vaccine coordinator. “If we want kids to return to school, sports and friends as safely as possible, they should be vaccinated. It is our best chance at giving them some sense of normalcy back.”

Health experts acknowledge many parents are hesitant or opposed to vaccinating their children.

Some parents cite the fact the vaccine has been authorized only for “emergency use” by the FDA. Pfizer is in the process of seeking licensed authorization from the FDA for full use of the vaccine to assuage such concerns.

* Daily Southtown

Cook County data shows more than 55% of north suburban residents having so far received at least their initial dose compared with 46% of those living in the west suburbs, 43% of southwest suburban residents and 36% of south suburban residents.

County health officials in late March rolled out an initiative to boost vaccination rates in 32 suburbs including several south suburban communities, such as Blue Island, Chicago Heights, Dixmoor, Harvey, Riverdale and Robbins.

* AP

Medicare will now require nursing homes to report COVID-19 vaccination rates for residents and staff.

That’s as government officials hope to nudge the long-term care facilities to keep giving shots as the worst ravages of the coronavirus pandemic ease but the danger of a rebound still lurks.

* Related…

* Loretto Hospital Got Vaccines to Help Black West Siders — but More Than Half of Early On-site Shots Went to White and Asian People

* Study links short stays at Cook County Jail early in the pandemic to the spread of COVID-19 in Black and Latino neighborhoods after inmates’ release

* Chicago Fed President Charles Evans questions whether remote offices will dampen Chicago’s ability to attract workers

* Illinois Will Move into Bridge Phase Friday. These Are the Capacity Limits Changing

* 10 millionth COVID-19 vaccine dose administered in Illinois: ‘It’s how we’ll all get back to our lives’

* With younger teens now vaccine eligible, schools aim to be their source for COVID-19 shots: ‘Make it available in a place they already are’

* Illinois Governor Again Says Businesses Will Decide Vaccine Passports

* Waiting tables stinks, and that’s why post-COVID, no one wants to do it

* People Aren’t ‘Addicted’ to Wearing Masks, They’re Traumatized: There’s a glaring omission from the discussion about why some “can’t quit” pandemic behaviors: the mental and emotional toll of the last year.

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