Pritzker shares details, timeline of COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan for Illinois; Rockford to receive 4,875 doses

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CHICAGO, Ill. (WTVO) — At his Friday coronavirus briefing, Gov. JB Pritzker gave details on the coronavirus distribution plan in Illinois.

Pfizer and Moderna currently have COVID-19 vaccines under review by the US Food and Drug Administration for emergency use authorization.

The Pfizer vaccine, which had 95% effective rate, must be taken in two doses three weeks apart and kept in special sub-zero storage freezers to remain viable.

Moderna’s vaccine had a 94% effective rate, also requires two doses 4 weeks apart, but can be stored at a standard freezer temperature.

Vaccines developed by AstraZeneca and Johnson and Johnson are also in the final stages of testing.

Pritzker said the first round, Phase 1A, of vaccine distribution will be focused on healthcare workers and residents of long-term care facilities.

The governor said there are 65,000 healthcare workers in Illinois and approximately 110,000 residents of long-term care facilities.

Illinois will receive 109,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine if it is approved by the FDA, approximately one week after it is approved. The FDA is scheduled to meet to consider the emergency use authorization on December 10th.

Pritzker warned “this will not be a quick process,” saying no person will be fully vaccinated by Christmas, and it could be many months before the entire populace receives the vaccine.

Pritzker hailed the American spirit and government investment in science fields for the relatively quick development of a COVID-19 vaccine, within only one year after the virus was first surfaced in Wuhan, China in late 2019.

Illinois Department of Public Health director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said the vaccine will be received by the IDPH and then distributed to the 50 Illinois counties with the highest death rate per capita. Ten hospitals in those counties will serve as the distribution point for the vaccine.

Mercyhealth’s Rockton campus has been identified as Rockford’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution coordination center, and will receive 4,875 initial doses of 86,000 to be distributed outside the city of Chicago.

Rockford ranked #1 on the IDPH’s list of the 10 regional hospitals in the 50 counties with the highest death rate per capita.

The other hospitals are located in Peoria, Springfield, Belleville, Carbondale, Urbana, Oak Lawn, Maywood, Elgin and Highland Park.

Ezike said a federal agreement with CVS and Walgreens pharmacies will enable staff there to directly vaccinate residents of long-term care facilities.

The IDPH today reported 10,526 new confirmed and probable cases of coronavirus, including 148 additional deaths. 

Currently, IDPH is reporting a total of 770,088 cases, including 12,974 deaths, in 102 counties in Illinois. As of last night, 5,453 in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19.  Of those, 1,153 patients were in the ICU and 703 patients with COVID-19 were on ventilators. 
The preliminary seven-day statewide positivity for cases as a percent of total test from November 27 – December 3, 2020 is 10.3%.  The preliminary seven-day statewide test positivity from November 27 – December 3, 2020 is 12.1%.

Region 1’s 7-day rolling positivity average: 15.3% (15.4% yesterday) 
Boone: 19.1% (19.4% yesterday)
Carroll: 9.1% (10.1 % yesterday)
DeKalb: 14.4% (14.4% yesterday)
Jo Daviess: 10.9% (9.8% yesterday)
Lee: 17.8% (18% yesterday)
Ogle: 15.9% (15.1% yesterday)
Stephenson: 16.2% (15% yesterday)
Whiteside: 13.3% (14.4% yesterday)
Winnebago: 15.2% (15.5% yesterday)


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