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Finding a vaccine in Lake County spring 2021 and an update on the end of the COVID-19 pandemic

Spring 2021 could easily be compared to a marathon where losing is not an option but winning is accompanied by shame or envy from those around you.

If you have not attempted to procure a Covid-19 vaccine yet, the difficulty lies in both finding and scheduling an appointment to receive one.

With confusing mazes and hoops to navigate through in order to even determine eligibility, let alone appointment availability, it is truly an uphill battle for those qualified to receive the vaccine to receive it.

Graphic courtesy of Easton Herbon

Graphic courtesy of Easton Herbon

However, one should feel hopeful enough to search.

With total available doses in Illinois reaching the 5 million mark, just short of 40% of the population (~38%) is projected to be inoculated with the assorted vaccine doses and types once these available doses find their new homes in the shoulders of community members.

While this isn’t total administered or received doses, the rolling vaccine administration average over the past 7 days was ~95,000, or 0.75% of the population.

This, along with the fact that the administered doses are sitting at 30% of the reported Illinois population, gives us the projection that even at our current, comparatively measly vaccination rate, the entire population of Illinois will be vaccinated in approximately 100 days.  

While this figure does not take into account vaccine losses, missed vaccine appointments and other data faults, several new centers for vaccines are already taking appointments.

For example, the United Center in Chicago has been turned into a mass vaccination center.

In Lake County, Fairgrounds, a new vaccination center, is projected to serve the population at rates unseen by the smaller vaccination sites such as Walgreens and Kroger.

The Chicago Tribune reported on Feb. 19th that not only would the site be administering vaccines at an incredibly high rate, but that rate will be increasing for the foreseeable future.

However, despite incredibly encouraging statistics and information, demand still far exceeds supply.

This, accompanied by the vaccine distribution effort being formed during the transferal of power between two presidential administrations, the lack of communication present in government, and the sheer scale of the operation has caused a great deal of chaos that will hopefully subside.

In the meantime, phase 1b qualifying residents should remain in search of their Covid-19 vaccines.

Just last week, Mar. 8th, the United Center opened up thousands of the currently 50,000 available vaccine slots on the Zocdoc vaccine portal.

Initially, the United Center allowed all qualifying phase 1b Illinois residents to acquire appointments.

However, this effort was rolled back to 60% of the appointments being allocated to Chicago residents, 30% suburban Cook county residents, and only 10% available to the general public of Illinois.

At the time of this article, there are no available appointments for the general public for the coming two weeks at the very least.

This change may feel like a setback, but this is all only a matter of time.

Until vaccines become commonly and openly available, all Lake County residents should register on the Lake County’s vaccination registration site, and use the online vaccine finder.

For those who have difficulties with technology or a lack of access to it, the phone number for the Illinois Department of Health’s Covid-19 vaccine hotline is 833-621-1284 with operators available to communicate in both Spanish and English from 6 am to midnight Monday through Sunday.

Regardless, all of us who have and have not been vaccinated should remember that 30% of the population vaccinated is not enough to quash this pandemic, and in order to maintain the downward trend in observed Covid-19 deaths, we must still maintain our strict application to the rules we’ve been self-enforcing this past year.

This means, unfortunately, a staycation spring break is advised.

When it comes to the health of our community members, however, staying home is more than acceptable; it is necessary.

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