Daily COVID-19 vaccinations increasing in Will County

About 56% of the county’s nearly 700,000 residents are fully vaccinated, IDPH data show

The number of daily vaccinations for COVID-19 in Will County has been increasing over the last week.

The seven-day rolling average of vaccines administered in the county was a little over 1,800 as of Friday, according to the latest Illinois Department of Public Health data. That’s up from a daily average of about 1,000 shots over much of the last several weeks.

The bump in vaccinations has come after mandates for many workers to be either vaccinated or tested regularly for COVID-19 by Gov. JB Pritzker and President Joe Biden when cases were increasing. Booster shots have also been made available, but only for some people.

Around 56.3% of the county’s nearly 700,000 residents are fully vaccinated, according to the IDPH.

Sue Olenek, the executive director of the Will County Health Department, updated the Will County Board’s Public Health & Safety Committee about efforts to combat the pandemic during a meeting last Wednesday.

She said her department has been hosting vaccine clinics around the county including at schools and places of worship.

The department also recently announced a partnership with local restaurants which will host a clinic and offer coupons for free food for anyone who gets a shot.

“We’re kind of hoping that maybe other restaurants would be interested in that,” Olenek said of the promotion. “The restaurants took a hard hit during COVID. I’m sure they’re trying to find ways to get people in the door as well. We’re trying to get shots in arms so we’re going to see how this goes.”

Olenek also shared data on the breakdown of Will County residents who are vaccinated by race and ethnicity. While about 54.7% of all white Will County residents are vaccinated, only about 43% of both Black and Latino residents are vaccinated.

Will County’s rolling average COVID-19 test positivity rate has continued to drop and was 3.8% as of last Tuesday, according to the IDPH.

As of Friday, there were 98 COVID-19 patients in the hospital in the South Suburban Region, which includes Will and Kankakee counties. Just a week ago, there were 119 COVID-19 patients in the region’s hospitals.

For more information, including where to find the nearest vaccine clinic, visit willcountyhealth.org.

Alex Ortiz

Alex Ortiz

Alex Ortiz is a reporter for The Herald-News in Joliet. Originally from Romeoville, Ill., he joined The Herald-News in 2017 and mostly covers Will County government, politics, education and more. He earned his bachelor's degree at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a master's degree from Northwestern University.