With FDA Okay, Illinois Gets COVID Vaccine Next Week
The governor says that the smallest delivery of 109,000 dosages of vaccine is going to 50 Illinois counties with the highest deaths per capita.
The governor's office and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) say that in the Chicago area, the counties they're looking at first include Cook, Lake, DuPage, Kane, and Will. Looking at Winnebago County's numbers, we should also be among the first to get the vaccine, based upon the state's guidelines.
As for distribution of the COVID vaccine, the plan, according to state health officials, is to issue 86,000 doses to frontline health care workers in the first week, followed by 23,000 dosages going to long-term care residents. As we learned last week from the Winnebago County Health Department (WCHD), that plan is being shared statewide.
With only 109,000 dosages coming into Illinois, obviously not everyone is going to get the vaccine immediately.
Illinois’ public health director, Dr. Ngozi Ezike:
We are not going to have enough vaccine for all the people in 1A. Even the people who are supposed to be at highest priority, they could go past day one, week one, week two, week three and still have not gotten their vaccine.
This all depends on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) giving the thumbs-up to Pfizer's vaccine. The FDA says that their first concern is safety. Pfizer says that in their tests some recipients experienced flu-like reactions (fever, fatigue or muscle aches) especially after the required second dose. It’s a sign the immune system is revving up, able to recognize and fight back if the real virus comes along.
As for when the average Illinoisan would be eligible to receive the vaccine, health officials say that after frontline health care workers, long-term care facility residents, and first responders (cops, firefighters, paramedics), timetables will be developed for the rest of the population.