Health officials detail plans for distribution of vaccines in Illinois


With thousands of COVID-19 vaccine doses from two companies being readied for distribution to Illinois, officials are detailing vaccination plans.

Nearly 64,000 health care workers had been vaccinated in Illinois as of Saturday.

The Illinois Department of Public Health said in the coming weeks the state will receive 120,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine and 320,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine.

During a Restore Illinois virtual hearing on Tuesday, Andrew Friend, deputy director of the Office of Preparedness and Response with IDPH, said officials are trying to pinpoint the exact number of doses to certain areas to minimize waste.

“Vaccine wastage happens normally with vaccination operations across the world,” he said. “Someone can drop a syringe, someone can drop a vial, these things happen, but what we are trying to do at the state level is prevent any type of wide-scale wastage.”

Friend said it is still uncertain when the general population will get vaccinated.

“It is dependent on a lot of different variables,” he said. “The first variable is how much vaccine is available and provided to the state, and the second variable is what is the uptake of that vaccine.”

Uptake means how many people get the vaccination once it becomes available.

After a person is vaccinated, they will be issued a card which will show what vaccine they received and when they received the shot.

“We need to track folks first dose and second dose,” Friend said. “Why does that matter? If your first dose was Pfizer, your second dose has to be Pfizer. If your first dose is Moderna, your second dose has to be Moderna.”

U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams visited a Chicago hospital on Tuesday and met with health care workers as they received vaccinations. At a news conference, Adams said it was a great day.

“Two words for today: vaccine and vigilance,” Adams said. “We should be incredibly excited about the fact that we now have two different vaccines authorized for use.

Adams added that there will be 7.9 million vaccinations that will go out this week around the country.

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