(The Center Square) – Gov. J.B. Pritzker said every Illinoisan might be eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccination by the end of April as the vaccination supply continues to increase.
President Joe Biden said Thursday that he would advise states to make a vaccine available to every adult by May 1. Pritzker said Illinois may act sooner.
“I’m excited about the fact that we will be able to get to more and more people across the state of Illinois and I’m confident that not by just May 1, but maybe even a little bit earlier, we could open up to everyone in the state,” Pritzker said.
The federal government promised Illinois would get around 100,000 doses per day, including the one-shot dose from Johnson and Johnson, by mid-March. That is now happening, Pritzker said.
“Indeed those were based on the promises, the pledges of the federal government and they delivered on those promises,” Pritzker said.
In all, over 4.2 million doses have been administered in Illinois. The state continues to lag behind other states in getting people fully vaccinated, ranking 38th in the country.
Illinois is currently in Phase 1B Plus, which includes people with certain underlying conditions, including cancer, kidney disease, COPD, diabetes and smoking.
It also includes anyone 65 or older and frontline workers such as teachers, fire and law enforcement, manufacturing and agricultural workers, and grocery store workers.
The state’s only federally funded mass vaccination site at the United Center in Chicago has filled more than 50,000 appointments.
State officials are working on a plan that would allow conventions to return to Illinois this summer as more people are vaccinated and new cases continue to decline.
On Monday, health officials announced only 782 new coronavirus cases in the state and 12 additional deaths. The case positivity rate is 2.2%.
The Center Square and Lake and McHenry County Scanner both contributed to this article.