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Lightfoot: Chicago Will Be Ready As Biden Announced COVID Vaccine Eligibility Opening To More People April 19

CHICAGO (CBS) --  Chicago's mayor said she is pleased the COVID vaccine will be available to more people in Chicago and across the country in two weeks.

President Joe Biden announced announced Tuesday that the deadline for adult eligibility for COVID-19 vaccines nationwide is being moved up to April 19. Mr. Biden had previously called for states and territories to make all adults eligible for shots by May 1.

Lightfoot said provided the city's vaccine supply is on pace, she is pleased with the announcement.

"That May 1 (date) was based on projections around when we thought we would likely have enough vaccine to not have as much frustration for the underlying conditions and the other folks who are ineligible," Lightfoot said. "But we see increases in younger people, because we know we absolutely, we follow the data we follow the science. Where we're able to do so, I do think it's the right thing from a science perspective."

Earlier Tuesday afternoon, Lightfoot joined Governor JB Pritzker, U.S. Senators Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth along with U.S. Congressman Danny Davis in welcoming Vice President Harris to the mass vaccination site.

"We do want to be aligned with the President's objective, but understanding that we need more vaccine and I want to be clear that when we open up on April 19, that doesn't mean that very day, everybody's going to get access to vaccine," warned Lightfoot.


Doctor Allison Arwady, head of the Chicago Department of Public Health, said she too was very pleased to share the news with Vice President Harris regarding the city's vaccination efforts.

"Chicago has been doing an amazing job on vaccine efficiency. What do we mean by efficiency? Because all of the vaccine that comes to our city get into arms," Arwady said. "When you look across the states, most states have about 70 to 80% of their vaccine into arms. Here in Chicago, we set a goal from the very first week of vaccination that 95% of our vaccine, every single week would get off the shelf, out the door to providers and we have hit that every single week."

Arwady said at least 40% of Chicagoans have received their first COVID vaccine dose. But she is disappointed that the city's positivity rate is over 5%.

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