CUPHD gives update on vaccination progress in Champaign County


Screenshot of Youtube

Julie Pryde speaks to the community during a briefing with the Champaign-Urbana Public Health Department on Monday. Pryde gave an update on how the vaccination process is going in the Champaign-Urbana area.

By George Phelan, Staff Writer

At the end of March, following the first anniversary of the beginning of pandemic lockdowns, the status of COVID-19 vaccinations is progressing steadily in Champaign County.
At their most recent press briefing on Monday, the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District announced that vaccination eligibility continues to expand despite vaccine demand outpacing supply, and social distancing is still recommended.
Following CUPHD’s transition to Phase 1B+ of vaccination eligibility, construction workers, food service workers, religious leaders, higher education staff, government workers and the media are now considered eligible for vaccination.
Furthermore, seniors who have not yet received vaccination can contact Julie Pryde, CUPHD public health administrator, to receive information about the 65 and older clinic which will continue to provide priority vaccinations.
At the moment, there does not appear to be much hesitancy in vaccine demand as it continues to outpace the supply available, even among eligible candidates. While currently fully utilized, the supply of available doses of all types is expected to increase for Champaign County in the coming weeks.
Among the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines already in use, CUPHD has also recently received the first doses of the new Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Currently only numbering in the hundreds, CUPHD expects the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to become more available as production increases.
The briefing also touched on the reopening of Champaign County public schools, which are currently on course to hold in-person class five times a week for the fall semester.
As long as social distancing and mask-wearing are maintained, there should be a relatively low risk of transmission in public schools, according to the briefing. However, students with preexisting health conditions who face a greater risk from COVID-19 are expected to continue with online classes.
The CUPHD still advises caution and urges residents to continue social distancing over the upcoming Easter weekend, especially among the unvaccinated.
While indoor, unmasked interaction between vaccinated individuals should be avoided. Mask-wearing and social distancing should continue to be practiced around anyone who is not yet vaccinated, as even fully vaccinated individuals could still spread the virus. In situations where the vaccination status of others is uncertain, continued social distancing is advised.
As of Tuesday, there have been 113,868 total first doses administered and 48,643 people (28.16% of people eligible) have been fully vaccinated, according to the CUPHD website.
Additionally, 76.41% of administered vaccinations were given to people 65 years old and older who face the greatest risk from COVID-19 have been vaccinated.

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