On Friday, December 4, 2020, The Illinois Department of Public Health and Governor J.B. Pritzker’s office announced the arrival of a COVID-19 Vaccine, which will soon be distributed and administered throughout Illinois by a coordinated network of federal, state, and local partners.
“To date, our country has lost more than a quarter-million lives to COVID-19; it’s changed more than 13,000 families in Illinois forever—and we’re seeing spikes across the state set a pace headed toward one million cases statewide,” Leader Gordon-Booth said. “So, truly, this vaccine could not have come at a better time; and we should extend an enormous show of gratitude to the brilliant public health and administrative professionals who have gotten us to this point.”
The vaccine distribution and administration processes have been thoroughly planned and the conveyance strategy is a heavily secured, county-based, phase-by-phase plan– with a focus on regional case distribution. Further details regarding the state’s official vaccine administration plan can be found on the Illinois Department of Public Health’s website at https://www.dph.illinois.gov/.
“Thankfully, Governor Pritzker’s office and IDPH are being incredibly mindful of central and downstate Illinois throughout this entire process.” Leader Gordon-Booth added, “We don’t have to worry about fighting over resources with Chicagoland, because our leadership is being intentional about centering the most affected communities in the distribution process, no matter where they are.”
Locally, the Peoria City-County Health Department will lead vaccine administration in partnership with the appropriate state partners; and local officials will disclose the appropriate process details at a future date. Please stay updated; follow the Peoria City/County Health Department on Facebook and visit their website at https://www.pcchd.org/.
As we move into Phase 1 of vaccine delivery and administration, in order to care for those most at risk and to responsibly manage our resources, the regional administration plan will target healthcare workers, long-term care facility residents, essential employees (e.g. food service staff, custodial staff, etc.), and seniors with pre-existing conditions. Distribution in the following phases will continue to be guided by regional data.
“Of course, I know that medical histories can make some of us skeptical of the vaccine, but we should all be hopeful right now— grateful!” Leader Gordon-Booth added, “We are finally approaching the light at the end of the tunnel; and the work that we’ve done to care for each other has been hard, but so inspiring. We need to take advantage of this moment because it’s time for us to heal, recover and rebuild. Please stay prayerful and trust the experts.