Arwady on virus variant: The COVID-19 virus, like all viruses, does mutate. It is a natural thing for viruses to do that.

The vaccines should still work against them.
Arwady: "Also important, we've not had a variant that makes people sicker." What a new, more contagious variant means in practice is we need to do what we have been doing to avoid exposure.
Arwady: Experts do anticipate we'll see this variant become much more widespread. Theoretically, it will mean we need to vaccinate a larger percentage of the population.
Arwady: We're now up to more than 250 vaccinating partners enrolled. That includes ~100 FQHCs, ~100 other medical offices and "a lot" of pharmacies. Adding to it every day.
Arwady: If you set aside long-term care, Chicago has received just under 100,000 first doses of vaccine. "That is, on the one hand, a lot of vaccine; on the other hand, we do have about 400,000 health care workers."
Arwady: They're vaccinating a lot of non-Chicago residents. That number has been hovering ~40 percent.
Arwady: That's not an issue, but it does mean those people don't show up in the city's data since it focuses on Chicago residents.
Arwady: Now that they're working on second doses, they're hoping that will inspire people who hesitated to get their first dose.
Arwady: If health care providers have vaccine that will likely go unused, they'll be able to start using it on high-risk patients. But the city isn't yet opening mass vaccination sites for older Chicagoans.
Arwady: You do not need to sign up online for getting vaccinated during 1B/1C. It's not yet open to the general public.
Arwady: We're not likely to finish health care workers (1A) for a couple of weeks, but that doesn't mean they won't open 1B.
Arwady: "We are absolutely intending to continue to follow the CDC and FDA guidance around the timing of vaccine administration." (That means two doses several weeks apart.) Yes, the city is holding vaccine for that.
Arwady: "There's no vaccine bring thrown out, for sure." (In Chicago, at least.)
Arwady: "... We've received just under 100,000 doses of vaccine. If you look on the website, you'll see, as of today we were at ~55,000 residents for first dose. ... Remember, though, that only includes Chicago residents." Doesn't include ~40% of doses going to non-Chicagoans.

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More from @BauerJournalism

12 Jan
Dr. Allison Arwady, head of the Chicago Department of Public Health, has a coronavirus update at 1 p.m. I'll live tweet.

Follow for updates and let me know if you have questions.…
You can watch here:
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Follow for updates and let me know if you have questions.…
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Follow for updates and let me know if you have questions.…
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Arwady: There was a big drop in people getting tested after the holiday/weekend. We'll expect that to come back up.
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