Illinois remains in first phase of vaccine distribution, plans for next

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Illinois remains in first phase of vaccine distribution, plans for next

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RN Connie Garcia extracts a dose of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine which will be administered to a Texas Tech University Health Science Center student at Texas Tech University Health Science Center’s Academic Building Monday, Jan. 4, 2021, in Odessa, Texas. (Jacob Ford/Odessa American via AP)

CHICAGO, Ill. (WCIA) — The next phase of vaccine distribution won’t kick-off until 1a — the current phase focusing on long-term care facility residents and frontline healthcare workers — is “substiantially complete,” but Gov. JB Pritkzer Wednesday outlined a plan for phase 1b that’s aimed at equity measures.

“With limited amounts of vaccine available at this time, it is important to prioritize individuals who are at greatest risk of exposure to COVID-19 and those at greatest risk of severe illness or death,” IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said. “Generally, Latinx and Black populations have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 with data showing related deaths at younger ages. We are hopeful that by lowering the eligibility age to 65 years we can help reduce this disparity.”

Phase 1B will begin when Phase 1A is substantially complete. It will include all Illinois residents age 65 years and older and “frontline essential workers,” as outlined by ACIP. In order to reduce COVID-19 mortality and limit community spread in Black and Brown communities, Illinois reduced the age eligibility in Phase 1B by 10 years.

Currently, the average age of COVID-19 death is 81 for White residents, 72 for Black residents and 68 for Latino residents.

The frontline essential workers designation includes many residents who carry a higher risk of COVID-19 exposure because of their work duties, often because they are unable to work from home, and/or they must work closely to others without being able to socially distance.The category defined by the federal government as frontline essential workers, which the CDC estimates as about 30 million Americans, includes first responders; education workers, including teachers, support staff and childcare workers; manufacturing, distribution and agriculture workers, including grocery store workers; United States Postal Service workers; public transit employees; corrections workers and incarcerated people, and others.

All in all, Phase 1B totals approximately 3.2 million people throughout the state of Illinois.

Right now, though, the state remains in Phase 1a, which has largely looked like vaccine distribution “to a very specific group of people at very specific locations in staggered proportions.”

Pritzker explained that hospitals and nursing homes have been “concerned about too many of their staff receiving the vaccine on any given shift.”

“Because of this, and because of the early federal supply issues, approximately one-third of our healthcare workforce outside of Chicago has received the vaccine,” he said.

Illinois as a whole has administered 207,106 total vaccine doses, which the governor said includes second-doses for those who received their vaccine in early December.

As of Tuesday night, 344,525 doses of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have been delivered to Illinois outside of Chicago. 114,075 of those doses have been set aside for the federal government’s long-term care vaccination program, also outside of Chicago, which is administered by CVS and Walgreens.

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via News | WCIA.com https://www.wcia.com

January 6, 2021 at 01:26PM

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