The 217 Today Podcast

217 Today: Friday Feb. 26, 2021

 
Dozens of tables with equipment for COVID-19 vaccinations sit in the Orr Building at the Illinois State Fairgrounds.

Dozens of tables with equipment for COVID-19 vaccinations sit in the Orr Building at the Illinois State Fairgrounds. Mary Hansen/NPR Illinois

Friday Feb. 26, 2021

Today's headlines:

  • Illinois’ congressional delegation had strong words for and against the Equality Act, which passed the House of Representatives Thursday on a near party-line vote.

  • Former Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan’s old seat in the legislature is now filled, for the second time in a week.

  • The DeWitt-Piatt Bi-County Health Department is asking some residents to cancel their appointments for receiving the COVID-19 vaccine because of limited supply. The health department’s administrator, David Remmert, says the department has fewer doses than expected.

  • State health officials are expanding COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to everyone 16 or older with serious medical conditions, such as heart disease and cancer.

In today's deep dive, across the country, Black people are getting the COVID-19 vaccine at lower rates than the general population. State and county health officials point to hesitancy – a distrust of the medical establishment about getting vaccinated – as a reason for the gap. But as Mary Hansen reports, equity advocates say access plays a role too.

217 Today is produced by Olivia Butts. Reporting today contributed by Jim Meadows, Hannah Meisel, Farrah Anderson, and Mary Hansen.