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By Mayor Stephen Hagerty
In just a few short weeks, on April 12, all Evanston and Illinois residents 16 years and older will be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. As we approach that date, the latest data shows that there are both reasons for optimism and concern. Let’s start with the good news.
More than 90% of Evanston seniors have received their first vaccine dose.
The latest data from the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) shows that eligible Evanston residents – especially seniors – have been highly successful in scheduling and receiving vaccinations. This includes residents vaccinated at City of Evanston point of dispensing (POD) events, which prioritized seniors, as well as those who received the vaccine through another trusted source, such as a Cook County mass vaccination site or a pharmacy. According to the IDPH:
- 91% of Evanston residents 65 and older have received at least their first vaccine dose. Nationally, the figure is 74%, and at the state level, it’s 70%.
- 60% of Evanston residents 65 and older are fully vaccinated. Nationally, 51% of those 65 and older are fully vaccinated, and statewide, 47% are fully vaccinated.
- More than 40 percent of residents 16 and older have received their first vaccine dose
With most seniors now vaccinated, the City has shifted its focus to vaccinating other individuals eligible as part of Phase 1B and 1B+, including essential workers and those with preexisting health conditions. According to the IDPH:
- 44% of Evanston residents 16 and older have received at least their first dose. Nationally, the figure is 38%, and statewide, it’s 37%. (National data includes those 18+.)
- 22% of Evanston residents 16 and older are fully vaccinated. Nationally, 21% of those 18 and older are fully vaccinated. A comparable metric is not currently available at the state level.
With vaccine supplies expected to continue to increase in April and May, and with residents by and large eager to get the vaccine when it’s available to them, we are in a strong position to gradually transition to a “new normal” this summer.
Unfortunately, we’re not there yet.
Cases are rising … again
Although the vaccination data is encouraging, other metrics are concerning. In Evanston, Illinois, and across the nation, COVID-19 positivity rates, daily confirmed cases, and hospital admissions are rising. As of today:
The seven-day average of daily confirmed cases in Evanston is 13.86, more than double the seven-day average of 6.43 one week ago.
Our positivity rate stands at 2.29 percent, nearly triple last week’s positivity rate of 0.78 percent.
Area COVID-19 hospital admissions are also trending upward.
Although these numbers are significantly below their peaks, we’re still moving in the wrong direction. And, as the weather warms, there’s more temptation to let down our guard. Right now, we need to do the opposite.
In order to reduce infections and meet the metrics required to move to the “Bridge Phase” of our state’s recovery, we must stay vigilant, mask up, social distance, and continue taking the public health measures proven to reduce the spread of this disease, as we’ve done throughout this pandemic. If we can do that – and I’m confident that we will – we’ll have even more reasons for optimism in the weeks to come.
With continued appreciation for your efforts and sacrifice,
FAQ: Will all Evanston adults (16+) be eligible for the vaccine on April 12, as Governor Pritzker has announced?
Yes. Individuals 16 years or older who live or work in Evanston will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine beginning April 12. Please remember that eligibility does not mean availability, and the pace of vaccinations will continue to depend entirely on the amount of doses the City and other public health partners receive each week.