SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WMBD) – Governor J.B. Pritzker has received his dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and he’s calling for others to do the same.
Wednesday, March 24, Pritzker rolled up his sleeve to receive the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine at the Illinois State Fairgrounds mass vaccination site. He called vaccines the path to post-pandemic normalcy.
“I’m so excited to get there and to protect my family, my friends, and my coworkers,” Pritzker said.
Pritzker’s vaccination comes as state health officials say there’s been plateaus and even small increases in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.
“As I see numbers go up, is that the variants? Is it a blip in the data? What is it exactly? So we’ll keep watching very closely,” Pritzker said.
As Illinois moves towards loosening mitigations, Pritzker is warning Illinoisans to not become too relaxed.
“I think people maybe are being a little less careful and I want to remind everybody please keep your distance, please continue to wear your mask,” he said.
As of Wednesday, more than 5 million Illinois residents have received at least one dose of vaccine, representing nearly one in every three individuals in the 16 and over population.
“I’m deeply, deeply, grateful that so many of our residents have embraced this life saving protection,” Pritzker said.
State leaders are now telling those who have received the vaccine to encourage others to do the same.
“Please talk to your friends and family about how friendly and efficient it was,” said Alicia Tate-Nadeau, Director of Illinois Emergency Management Agency.
After March 29th, Pritzker said Illinois should receive more Johnson & Johnson vaccines which will allow the state to significantly increase the number of shots in arms.
In response to other states preparing to lift their mask mandates, Pritzker says Illinois must get closer herd immunity before that happens.