State Officials Detail Illinois’ Vaccine Distribution Plan

ILLINOIS — As the Food and Drug Administration gets ready next week to make a decision on the first COVID-19 vaccine, Illinois officials are mapping out how the distribution will work.

The FDA is expected to convene Thursday to possibly approve the first vaccine for distribution.

During his daily briefing Friday, Pritzker said health care workers and residents of long-term care homes will be first to be vaccinated.

“The goal here is to fortify the health care workforce by removing these most exposed workers from the cycle of quarantine, illness and infection, as well as protecting our most vulnerable residents,” Pritzker said.

Health care workers in the 50 counties with the highest COVID-19 death rate per capita will be first in line. The first county on the list is Greene County, followed by Wayne and Carroll counties. The doses will be transported to the state’s 10 regional hospital coordination centers, which will serve as distribution sites for local health departments.

As for the rest of Illinoisans getting vaccinated, Pritzker said it may take time.

“This will not be a quick process,” he said. “With the two-dose timeline, no single person will even be fully vaccinated by Christmas, and it will likely be months before people with low-risk factors for COVID-19 see their first dose.”

If the Pfizer vaccine receives federal approval on Dec. 10, Pritzker said Illinois is scheduled to receive 109,000 doses of the vaccine the following week. Of those doses, the city of Chicago would receive 23,000.

As part of a federal agreement with CVS ad Walgreens, the pharmacies will directly vaccinate residents of long-term care facilities.

The Center Square – Kevin Bessle

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