Illinois is not going to get as much COVID-19 vaccine as it originally asked for. Director of the Illinois Department of Public Health Dr. Ngozi Ezike said yesterday that the state is only expected to get 80,000 out of the 400,000 it originally asked for: “We are going to be prioritizing. We already know that even if everything goes through smoothly in the next couple of weeks and the vaccine is shipped, there won’t be many doses. I know that I had originally quoted 400,000 doses. That’s what we had been told. That number has already been downgraded to something like 80,000. Again, all off these numbers are constantly in flux. We are staying very nimble to be able to adjust as the feds give us more information. We adjust and tweak our own plan.”
Ezike says that the state has freezer trucks ready to mobilize to pick up the first round of one of the vaccines that’s required to be kept at extremely low temperatures when it is available. She says that the state has run its vaccine distribution plan by the CDC to administer the vaccine, and they have been given the green light once final approval for the efficacy study by the FDA is given: “We have been working [on it]. The feds and the CDC have seen our plan and they have told us that we look good with what we are planning. We have hospitals that have signed up to be COVID vaccine providers, and so we know that the first traunch of vaccines will go to the hospital workers and those individuals who are on the front lines in terms of working directly with COVID patients and who are in the face of COVID every day, as well as our first responders which will also include our National Guard.”
Ezike and Governor J.B. Pritzker doubled up on asking people to remain cautious and stay away from large family gatherings for the Thanksgiving holiday tomorrow and the upcoming Christmas holidays. They reiterated patience as its likely most of Illinois won’t have vaccines available to the general public until early Spring.