Health Officials in West Central Illinois are preparing to receive shipments of coronavirus vaccine, which could arrive as early as next week.
The Illinois Department of Public Health alerted the Pike County Health Department late yesterday that Pike will be one of fifty counties in Illinois to receive the vaccine.
On Friday Governor J.B. Pritzker announced the state is expecting an opening shipment of 109,000 vaccine doses, which will be distributed among the fifty counties with the highest death rates per capita.
Greene County is number one on the list, which includes Cass and Morgan as well as Pike in West Central Illinois.
Dr. Scott Boston, President and CEO of Passavant Area Hospital said on the AM Conversation this morning, that information on the vaccine can change in an instant.
“This is one of those questions that, depending on whether you ask me in the morning or the afternoon I may give you a different answer. It seems like the information changes quite frequently. The latest that we understand from the State of Illinois is that there will be disbursement of the vaccine to the states, and then the State Department of Public Health will disseminate that to the local county health departments; and they will disseminate those to the local hospitals. They are calling them Points of Distribution, or P.O.D.s.
We believe that that will happen next week. Part of the decision is based on the FDA meets on the 10th and they should grant emergency use authorization on the 10th at which point the physical distribution of the vaccine should begin, with the expectation that the vaccine could be in Morgan County next week for us to administer.
This will be a very limited supply- very limited supply, and we expect for it to be a very limited supply for the whole month of December. When that will become available to the, quote, general public is a very good question, and it won’t be available until there is a larger release of the supply and that will probably be after the new year.”
Pike County Health Department Administrator, Anita Andress said in a press release this morning she would be receiving a call today from IDPH informing her of both the expected ship date and allotment of the vaccine, also citing that information changes by the minute.
The first allotment of the vaccine will focus on vaccination of frontline hospital workers, as vaccinations will be rolled out in phases. In Phase 1A, vaccine is targeted to the Critical Populations of Frontline Health Care Personnel and Long Term Care facility staff and residents.
Other priority groups included in Phase 1A of the vaccination plan include: Frontline healthcare workers who are caring for COVID-19 patients; pharmacists, plasma and blood donation workers; public health nurses, and other public health and emergency preparedness workers; dentists and hygienists; and funeral home workers.