DuPage County leads suburbs in residents 65+ getting at least one vaccine dose, at 74%

Nearly three-quarters of all DuPage County residents 65 and older have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, the highest rate among suburban locations.

Meanwhile, Illinois Department of Public Health figures show at least 62% or more of the residents 65 and older in suburban Cook County and in Kane, Lake, McHenry and Will counties have also received at least one vaccine dose.

At 73.9%, DuPage County has the eighth-highest rate of vaccine doses administered to that 65-plus age group among the state’s 102 counties and Chicago, according to state figures.

Kendall County has the largest percentage of its 65-plus population receiving an inoculation, at nearly 82.7%.

Suburban Cook County’s rate for that age group is 62.1%. In Kane County, it’s 67.9%. Lake County’s rate is 68%. It’s 70% in McHenry County and 63.2% in Will County.

Statewide, 65.5% of residents 65 and older have received at least one dose, IDPH records show.

Medical experts believe those high vaccination levels are affecting the types of COVID-19 cases hospitals are seeing now.

“There are two trends emerging now,” said Dr. Jonathan Pinsky, medical director of infection control and prevention at Edward Hospital in Naperville. “The most notable trend is that very few nursing home residents are being admitted now. The second is that during the last surge, the median age of our COVID patients was 70. Now, it’s 50.”

Hospitals statewide are averaging more than 1,200 COVID-19 patients a day over the past week, IDPH officials announced Thursday. The state’s average daily patient count had been below 1,200 for more than two weeks.

The recent uptick in cases has concerned health and state officials.

“Is this a blip in the data? Is it the variants?” Gov. J.B. Pritzker said at a news conference Wednesday. “There is a lot more activity going on and I think people may be being a little less careful.”

IDPH officials also announced 35 more COVID-19 deaths Thursday and 2,190 new cases were diagnosed. That brings the state’s death toll to 21,171, while 1,229,898 Illinois residents have now been infected during the pandemic.

Hospitals statewide reported treating 1,251 patients for COVID-19 infections. Of those hospitalized, 267 are in intensive care.

The state’s seven-day case positivity rate is now at 2.7%, down slightly from Wednesday’s figure. Case positivity shows the percentage of tests that resulted in new cases of the disease. A seven-day average is used to smooth any anomalies in the daily reporting of new cases and tests.

Meanwhile, Illinois vaccine providers have performed 5,154,908 inoculations statewide, according to IDPH figures. They are averaging 101,175 shots a day over the past week.