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McLean County sees a sharp rise in COVID vaccinations as younger children get their shots

Child seated as he receives a COVID vaccine
Emily Bollinger
Kaiden Gomez-Bonner, 10, received his first COVID vaccine Tuesday during a McLean County Health Department clinic at Grossinger Motors Arena.

COVID vaccinations are on the rise again in McLean County and vaccines for 5-to-11-year-olds are one reason why.

McLean County has averaged close to 750 daily vaccinations since vaccines for younger children became widely available last week. That's up 36% from daily counts over the previous two weeks, according to data from the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and compiled by WGLT.

The McLean County Health Department (MCHD) hosted its first clinic for 5-to-11-year-olds Tuesday at Grossinger Motors Arena in downtown Bloomington. MCHD will host another clinic for younger children on Nov. 16.

The county's weekly vaccination total (Nov. 1-8) of 4,805 is its highest since May, but the county’s rate of fully vaccinated remains just over 55%. The statewide rate is 56.9%. Both the county and state rates dipped slightly in the last week following a periodic audit of vaccination numbers by IDPH.

Hospitals are full

MCHD reported Tuesday that 99% of hospital beds in Bloomington-Normal are full, including 96% of intensive care beds.

Hospital administrators have consistently said their biggest concern is having adequate staffing available. Carle BroMenn Medical Center and OSF St. Joseph Medical Center have 18 COVID-19 patients receiving care, while 10 McLean County residents are hospitalized.

MCHD said 286 people are isolating at home and the county’s seven-day testing positivity rate inched up to 2.4%. There have been 281 COVID-related deaths reported in McLean County since the start of the pandemic.

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