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CDC stats are better: You need to be careful when looking at vaccination statistics


We’ve touched om this subject before and want to take another stab at it, because the vaccination statistics put forth by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) are not accurate, especially in counties that border other states. . .and especially if your county borders two different states.

The latest statistics for Jo Daviess County from IDPH show that 5,887 residents are fully vaccinated, which is 27.55 percent of the population.

As I’ve talked to community members about these numbers our common thought was, “These numbers can’t be correct. We know so many people that have been vaccinated in other states.”

Here at the Gazette we’ve discussed whether we should use the IDPH numbers, because they seemed low to us. Bad information coming in doesn’t yield good information coming out; information that can be trusted.

It turns out that the IDPH statistics don’t come anywhere near being close, at least in Jo Daviess County. So, we’ve stopped using them. The IDPH statistics only include those Jo Daviess County residents who have been inoculated in Illinois.

Thus, if you received your vaccination in Dubuque, Iowa City or other places in Iowa or in Monroe or Platteville in Wisconsin, you don’t exist in the IDPH database.

There is a better source.

The Centers for Disease Control has a new vaccination dashboard where you can obtain better information. You’ll find it at bit.ly/3ak5b8P.

The information shared by CDC shows that 8,060 Jo Daviess County residents are fully vaccinated, which represents 38 percent of our population. A 10-and-a-half-point difference is a major difference.

What is heartening to learn from the CDC is that nearly 80 percent of county residents who are 65 years of age and older are fully vaccinated.

I think that is great news.

Of those who are 18 years of age and older, 46.6 are fully vaccinated.

And, when you consider that the Jo Daviess County Health Department is holding a vaccination clinic for those 16 and 17 years old this week and another general clinic this week and one next week, these numbers should be climbing.

The other piece of good news is that it seems that Jo Daviess County residents are participating in vaccination clinics at a higher rate than our neighbors in Carroll County, 26.9 percent vaccination; and Stephenson County, 25.5 percent.

The IDPH stats show vaccination rates slightly lower: Carroll, 22.8 percent; and Stephenson, 22.92 percent.

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What’s interesting is that in Bureau County, in the central part of the state along I-80, the IDPH statistics show a higher percentage of those vaccinated, 23.98 percent versus the CDC at 21 percent.

Go figure...

So I think the moral of this story is to be careful and cautious when looking at vaccination numbers, especially if you’re in a border county and you’re looking at IDPH statistics.

One of our priorities over the past few months has been to encourage vaccination and publicize clinics whenever possible. It’s the best way to work our way through this pandemic.

We hope that you stand up and be counted when it’s your turn to be vaccinated for COVID-19.


More on a small world...

Mary Timpe Robsman shared an “It’s a small world” story with us a couple of weeks ago, a story that is recorded on page four of the July 24, 1969 Galena Gazette.

In the 1960s, Mary taught fifth grade for two years at a United States Armed Forces school in Frankfurt, Germany.

During a unit on Illinois, Mary came to school and went to class wearing her “centennial dress,” complete with sunbonnet to show students “how a pioneer dressed.”

In a fourth-grade classroom, she asked if anyone had ever been to Illinois. A boy raised his hand to say he’d been born in Illinois, in Galena. The boy’s name: Jay Vaughn, the son of Galenians Pat Vaughn and Ed Glasgow.

While there, Mary and three teacher friends with their suitcases, flight bags, oversize purses and a generous supply of “Wash ’n Dry” piled themselves in a small Volkswagen and toured through Spain, Italy, Greece, England, Ireland, Scotland, Morocco and the Riviera.

She also had the opportunity to travel to Russia and the Holy Land.

by P. Carter Newton, publisher