FOREST PARK, Ill. (WREX) — Illinois is just days away from expanding eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine and the state's top doctor is encouraging you to get the vaccine.
Dr. Ngozi Ezike, the Director of the Illinois Department of Public Health, spoke Thursday at a vaccination site in Forest Park, Illinois.
Dr. Ezike reiterated the effectiveness and encouraged people to get the vaccine.
"The three COVID-19 vaccines currently authorized for use in the United States are all highly effective in preventing serious illness, hospitalizations and death," Dr. Ezike said.
Dr. Ezike also provided more context for the hospitalization numbers this year.
"Since this January, of the more than 2.5 million people who are fully vaccinated, we see that only 72 were hospitalized with COVID-19," Dr. Ezike said. "The overwhelming majority of COVID hospitalizations are in people who have not been vaccinated."
Dr. Ezike because there's still a lot of people who haven't been vaccinated, hospitalizations continue to rise in the state.
"Since March 12, there were under 1100 people in the hospital with COVID-19. Yesterday, we reported almost 1800 people in the hospital," Dr. Ezike said.
The increase in hospitalizations is one seen here in the Stateline, too. On Thursday, Mercyhealth, OSF HealthCare Saint Anthony Medical Center and SwedishAmerican Hospital in Rockford said they are currently providing in-patient care for 72 patients who have tested positive for COVID-19 and persons suspected of being COVID-19 positive. This is an increase from last Thursday’s report of 38.
IDPH reports a total of 89 people in the hospital for all of Region 1. The number of ICU beds available in the region is also down to 20%.
1,798 individuals in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19 on Wednesday. Of those, 351 patients were in the ICU and 151 patients with COVID-19 were on ventilators.
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