CHICAGO, Ill. (WMBD) — Coronavirus vaccines could be heading to Illinois within the month, so long as they get the green light from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Friday.
During his daily COVID-19 press conference, Pritzker laid out specific details about the distribution process of the vaccines regarding which ones will be distributed and who would get them first.
Pritzker said Pfizer will have their vaccine go through the FDA’s review process on Thursday, Dec. 10. If the review goes well, the first distribution of the company’s vaccines is expected to roll out from Sunday, Dec. 13 to Saturday, Dec. 19.
Data shows the Pfizer vaccine to have 95 percent effectiveness across a trial of 43,000 participants. The vaccine would be administered through two doses, each dose being three weeks apart from each other, and requires ultra-cold storage.
For the Moderna vaccine, Pritzker said their vaccine will go through FDA review on Thursday, Dec. 17, and should the FDA approve the vaccine, it is expected to be distributed from Sunday, Dec. 20 to Saturday, Dec. 26.
The data on the Moderna vaccine shows it having 94 percent effectiveness across 30,000 trial participants. The vaccine will need to be administered two doses four weeks apart.
Pritzker said Illinois will initially receive 109,000 doses of vaccines, a quarter of the amount the state was originally slated to get. Those doses will be distributed to the 50 state counties with the highest death rates per capita.
The vaccines will be shipped to ten Regional Hospital Coordinating Centers who will then coordinate distribution to the 50 counties.
In descending order, the counties include:
20. La Salle
29. Suburban Cook
35. Saint Clair
38. Rock Island
47. Jo Daviess
As far as who will receive the vaccines first, Pritzker said Wednesday frontline healthcare workers and residents of long-term care facilities will take priority with the initial doses. There are 654,598 frontline healthcare workers and 109,227 residents of long-term care facilities in Illinois.
Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said the state purchased 20 ultra-cold freezers to store the vaccines when they arrive. She said IDPH will track and receive the vaccines directly.