Chicago Tribune releases data on unvaccinated teens driving school outbreaks

Natalie Bartelt, Views Editor

On Nov. 18, 2021, the Joliet Patch reported Chicago Tribune’s analysis of state health data that unvaccinated teens are driving a new COVID-19 surge causing outbreaks in Illinois schools.

Public health commissioner for Chicago Dr. Allison Arwady claimed in a conference that, “The  Midwest is seeing highest average daily COVID case rate in the U.S.” She furthered, “It really is these unvaccinated teenagers that are right now a big part of what’s driving this increase.”

According to Our World in Data, 61.4 percent of Illinois is fully vaccinated. The Illinois Department of Public Health calculated that 71.4 percent of vaccines have been administered to Illinoisans older than 12.

As of October, approximately 33 percent of students and approximately 81 percent of staff at Joliet West were reported to be fully vaccinated.

Sophomore Emily Johnson expressed that “I think that if more people were to get vaccinated, the number of cases would decrease and we could start moving forward especially in school.”

Though COVID vaccines are proved to have a 90 percent or higher effectiveness, experts are now questioning whether or not they can protect against the newly discovered Omicron variant.