About one-third of DuPage County residents (35.8%) have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose, and 191,459, or 20.6% of residents have been fully vaccinated, according to a DuPage County Health Department news release.
Additionally, 82.4% of DuPage County residents age 65 and older have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose. In the past week, more than 59,000 vaccine doses were administered to DuPage County residents for a total of 523,917 doses administered to date, the release stated.
“Having one in five DuPage County residents fully vaccinated, and one in three vaccinated with at least one dose is wonderful news and a testament to the work of our dedicated health department staff and partner providers across the county,” Karen Ayala, executive director of DuPage County Health Department, said in a statement.
“Despite this good news, we are currently seeing an uptick in COVID-19 cases and new cases linked to the variants,” Ayala said. “Therefore, we are finding ourselves in a race against the variants as we work to vaccinate our residents as quickly as possible. It is critical for all of us to come together to prevent another surge. We must practice the public health guidance that we know works for a little longer to help protect those in our community who have not yet had the opportunity to be vaccinated. Wear a mask, watch your distance and wash your hands.
Over the last two weeks, the seven-day rolling average for all COVID-19 cases reported between March 19 and April 4 has increased by 38%. The highest increase was observed in 20- to 39-year-olds with a 72% increase, followed by 40- to 59-year-olds with a 50% increase, the release stated.
Additionally, the health department is closely monitoring reports of COVID-19 variants in the county. To date, 43 cases of B.1.1.7, four cases of P.1 and two cases of B.1.429 variants have been identified in DuPage County. These variants are classified as COVID-19 variants of concern, as they spread more easily and quickly than other variants and likely cause more severe disease based on hospitalizations and case-fatality rates. In Illinois, 471 cases of B.1.1.7, 77 cases of P.1, and 47 cases of B.1.427/429 variants were reported as of April, the release stated.
As the virus continues to spread, the health department urges residents to continue practicing the critical measures that will limit the spread of this virus and its variants. Previous upticks in cases have resulted in surges of case activity, which have been followed by increases in hospitalizations and increases in COVID-19-related deaths. Acting now can help prevent these severe outcomes.
These critical measures include wearing a well-fitted mask consistently and correctly, physical distancing, avoiding in-person gatherings, washing hands frequently, isolating or quarantining when necessary and getting the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as you are eligible.
Until recently, information has not been available to indicate the safety of vaccines in pregnant women. However, a new study in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology has shown vaccines are safe and effective for pregnant and breastfeeding women and may also offer some protection for their babies. For more information, visit https://www.ajog.org/article/S0002-9378(21)00187-3/fulltext.
Beginning April 12, COVID-19 vaccine eligibility will expand to all DuPage and Illinois residents 16 years of age and older. Currently, individuals eligible in Phase 1a, 1b, and 1b Plus can register for vaccination appointments in DuPage County at www.dupagehealth.org/covid19vaccine, or call (630) 682-7400 if assistance is needed with registration. Phase 1b Plus includes individuals age 16 to 64 years with co-morbidities, underlying conditions, or disabilities and other identified essential workers.
However, DCHD may still prioritize appointment opportunities for eligible individuals in earlier phases. This prioritization will help ensure individuals at higher risk of exposure and severe health outcomes are provided with opportunities to be vaccinated. Everyone who is registered is also encouraged to contact their primary care doctor or local retail pharmacy for vaccine and appointment availability and explore additional opportunities through other vaccine providers in their area. For a list of available locations, visit www.dupagehealth.org/covid19vaccinelocations.
Additional COVID-19 vaccine information about local efforts, frequently asked questions, vaccination data, and more is available at www.dupagehealth.org/covid19vaccine.
For general questions about COVID-19 and Illinois’ response and guidance, call 1-800-889- 3931 or emailDPH.SICK@ILLINOIS.GOV.