Dr. Ezike receives first dose of COVID-19, delivers emotional speech

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CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois’ top doctor has received a COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic in suburban Chicago. Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike gave an emotional address Tuesday before getting the shot saying she was getting vaccinated for her family and hopes vaccinations are soon widespread.

She calls the vaccine the next step toward “getting our normal lives back.”

The news comes as public health officials logged 6,642 new confirmed and probable cases Tuesday and 117 additional deaths. Overall, Illinois has reported more than 1 million cases and 17,743 deaths.

Beginning Tuesday, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is now reporting coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccination data on its website, with data to be updated daily and additional data to be provided as available. 

“Throughout the pandemic we have used data to guide our decisions and actions and we will continue to do so for vaccine administration,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike.  “Illinois is a very diverse state, geographically and in the make-up of its population.  It is important to track where we are seeing both high and low vaccination rates.  These data will help us understand what actions we can take to end this pandemic as quickly as possible.”

Data on the IDPH website include the number of doses administered, the vaccination rate per population, and what percent of the population is fully vaccinated.  These data are broken down by county.  Additionally, the website includes information on the COVID-19 Community Vulnerability Index (CCVI), also broken down by county. 

The CCVI looks at indicators such as socioeconomic status, household composition, type of housing and transportation, epidemiological facts, as well as access to health care.  Additional data and means to track vaccination rates will be added as available.  

Vaccination data can be found on the IDPH website at www.dph.illinois.gov/covid19/vaccinedata.

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