Winnebago County misses weekly vaccine shipment as Pritzker expands Phase 1B

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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) – More Stateline residents could soon get their shot of the COVID-19 vaccine. In about two weeks, Illinois plans to expand Phase 1B to include people with some underlying conditions to the list.

We spoke with a few organizations who say they should have been included from the start.

People with disabilities or diabetes–for example– say that just even though they are younger than 65, doesn’t change the fact they can be more susceptible to COVID-19.

The expansion comes from an additional allotment of doses coming from the federal government. But this week in Winnebago County, we found out that a shipment of the vaccines never arrived.

“I would hope they do get it this next week,” said Nancy Todora, the chair of the Northern Illinois Diabetes Coalition.

As Illinois prepares to vaccinate even more people under Phase 1B, Winnebago County Health Director Dr. Sandra Martell shared on Wednesday that 5,000 expected doses did not arrive.

“We’re depending on them. We’ve been checking with them on what that is the state allocation, we all report through different mechanisms supply chain in terms of how much we have in hand, what we have for the week, and there may have been different needs throughout the state,” Dr. Martell said.

Wednesday evening Dr. Martell released the following statement with an update.

The Winnebago County Health Department appreciates the advocacy from our community including the media, elected officials, and others regarding the shortage of Moderna vaccine for the week. We have been in contact with the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and have resubmitted the order for Moderna as advised by IDPH. They will ship the vaccine when it becomes available. The Pfizer order for the week had been received as shared at the press briefing. We will provide an update when the Moderna vaccine order is received.

Dr. Sandra Martell | Director, Winnebago County Health Department

This comes after Gov. Pritzker said the state will receive 5% more weekly doses from the federal government.

As early as February 25, people who are younger than 65 with underlying conditions could start to get their first dose. Arc of Winnebago, Boone, and Ogle County executive director Amy Newell says that it’s been challenging for many of her members with developmental disabilities.

“It’s been really hard for them that isolation, like the rest of us, the isolation has been hard and so to move them up in that conversation to be able to get those vaccinations–if they want to–will open up those doors for them,” Newell said.

Another group added to the expanded list is anyone with diabetes. Nancy Todora, a registered nurse and retired diabetes educator, says that it’s long overdue.

“They’re tackling a disease already in their body that they can’t really cure, so their immune system is already compromised for that reason,” explained Todora, the chair for the Northern Illinois Diabetes Coalition.

This list is subject to change as guidance evolves and does not reflect an order of priority:

• Cancer
• Chronic Kidney Disease
• COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)
• Diabetes
• Heart Condition
• Immunocompromised State from a Solid Organ Transplant
• Obesity
• Pregnancy
• Pulmonary Disease
• Sickle Cell Disease

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