COVID-19 vaccine

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois public health officials have approved universal COVID-19 vaccination in parts of the state where demand for the shots has waned even while the number of cases and hospitalizations continues to climb.

Newly reported cases topped 3,000 Friday for the first time in seven weeks. Hospitalizations due to the virus have jumped by 15% in five days. Dr. Ngozi Ezike is the state's public health director.

She says mobile vaccination teams will be dispatched to a northwest-Illinois trouble spot and Gov. J.B. Pritzker has approved vaccination of anyone 16 or older in regions where vaccinations have dropped off.

In Illinois, COVID-19 has claimed 21,203 lives among 1,232,900 cases.

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