COVID-19 booster rates for Black and Latino residents in Illinois lag far behind those for the white and Asian population, according to a WBEZ analysis of data from the Illinois Department of Public Health.
Statewide, as of Thursday, about 17.5% and 15.3% of Black and Latino residents, respectively, have received the third dose of the coronavirus vaccine. Meanwhile, about 36.2% of Asian residents and 32.3% of white residents have gotten the booster.
In Chicago, the booster rates for Black and Latino residents are not much higher, with both groups posting figures at about 17.6%. White residents had the highest rates of booster vaccination in the city, at about 37.7%, with Asian residents close behind, at 34.8%.
Outside the city, in suburban Cook County, rates of boosted Black residents were higher. About 20.8% of Black residents in suburban Cook have received the third shot. Latino residents showed lower rates than in the city, at 15.7%. As with the city and state, white and Asian residents in suburban Cook had the highest rates of booster vaccination — 37.7% and 37.4%, respectively.
One study showed that a booster is needed to provide immunity against the omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the booster to everyone 12 and over who received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccination series, and to adults 18 and over who got the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccine. Those who got the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine series can get boosted five months later; residents who got the J&J/Janssen vaccine are eligible for a booster two months after the shot.