CHICAGO (CBS) — Illinois Governor JB Pritzker said the state is not only getting more COVID testing kits to local healthcare agencies, it is also planning a vaccine distribution plan once a vaccine is available to everyone.
“Today marks our first shipments from the state of Illinois to local health departments around the state, carrying more than 170,000 Abbott BinaxNOW tests. These are the rapid antigen tests recently purchased and distributed to states on mass by the federal government, the federal government and Abbott have indicated that these shipments will continue on a weekly basis through at least the end of 2020, and will total over three million tests for the state of Illinois,” Pritzker said.
The governor said the tests will be manufactured in Abbot’s Gurnee plant which hired more than 1,000 people for the new location.
“We’re viewing these tests as an important additional tool in our testing toolbox. We are piloting their usage in several different settings. In order to gather more data about their accuracy and sensitivity, and then adjusting our plan to achieve the maximum impact so we can battle COVID-19, the best we can,” Pritzker said.
The majority of the initial tests are going to local health department’s directly to as the governor put it “ensuring resource access and flexibility on a local scale across the entire state. That means depending on the needs of the community, the local health department can choose to distribute their tests for any of a number of localized needs, including for K-12 settings.”
First responders will be getting testing kits along with pilot testing programs as well as long term care facilities.
Pritzker said that the state is working with the CDC with a vaccine distribution plan once one becomes available, but the governor admitted many questions need to be answered before a plan is formalized.
“To be clear, there is no approved vaccine yet. My administration is updating healthcare providers and local health department’s about Illinois vaccine rollout framework.This plan will evolve as vaccine trials come to a conclusion and the FDA decides which comes first,” Pritzker said. “Will a successful vaccine require one or two doses? And how far apart must those doses be administered? Will the vaccines require cold storage? Or can they be stored at room temperature? If vaccines are distributed in large case containers, how will those cases be split up in smaller numbers for delivery to small healthcare facilities throughout the state?”
On Wednesday, the number of COVID-19 cases in Illinois continued to move upwards, with more than 4,000 new cases announced Wednesday. The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 69 additional deaths.
On Tuesday, the state reported 3,714 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Illinois and 41 additional deaths, and the state’s positivity rate and hospitalizations from the virus also continued to climb.
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News,Region: Chicago,City: Chicago
via Chicago Breaking News from CBS Channel 2, WBBM-TV
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October 21, 2020 at 03:00PM