COVID-19 Vaccine Shortage, Delays Expected This Week

By Benjamin Cox on February 16, 2021 at 4:02pm

Local health departments were expected to receive larger shipment of COVID-19 vaccine doses beginning Monday. The Illinois Department of Public Health announced on Saturday that vaccine providers will begin to receive a larger share of second doses to accommodate a greater number of second doses coming due. With federal shipments of the vaccine to Illinois remaining limited, this will mean providers will receive a smaller share of first doses. IDPH announced today that those larger shipments have been delayed due to the current winter storm.

IDPH announced today that it ordered the federal shipments be sent to the National Strategic Stockpile location in response to the adverse weather. IDPH says the vaccine will then be distributed around the state to providers, weather permitting, for the remainder of today and into tomorrow.

Based on federal projections of vaccine shipments, IDPH anticipates these new vaccine allocations will hold steady for the next several weeks, before allocations of first doses can once again increase next month. IDPH says that they have been planning on this shift with vaccine providers for the last several weeks.

Both the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines require a second shot to be 95% effective against COVID-19. Second doses are required to be administered 3 weeks after the first dose for those who received the Moderna vaccine, and 4 weeks after for those who received the Pfizer vaccine.

The State of Illinois hit a record of number of 95,000 vaccines administered this past Friday, and IDPH says 10% of Illinoisans have received their first dose of the vaccine. Due to those seeking their second shot, fewer first dose shots will dramatically decrease in some cases even after the state announced an expansion of its Phase 1B this past Friday.