Illinois regional health centers are expected to receive the first shipment of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine on Dec. 10, Illinois Department of Public Health Director Ngozi O. Ezike told county and municipal leaders from across the state during a conference call Thursday morning.
Illinois will receive 109,000 doses of the vaccine in the first shipment from a federal supply with 23,000 expected to go to Chicago and 86,000 set to go across the rest of the state, according to McHenry County Chairman Jack Franks who was on the call.
Ezike told the group that the vaccines then must be used within five days of receipt to avoid issues with the cold storage requirements.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is scheduled to consider approval of the vaccine for emergency use on Dec. 10.
Illinois is then scheduled to receive another 250,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccines the week of Dec. 17 and then 300,000 the week of Christmas. The Pfizer vaccine requires two doses to achieve maximum protection.
If the Moderna vaccine receives emergency-use approval from the FDA, an additional 700,000 doses of that vaccine could be distributed by the end of the year, Ezike said on the call.
Areas with higher percentage COVID-19 death rates will be prioritized as vaccines are distributed, she said.
The first vaccines are set to go to health care workers, hospital teams, first responders and long-term care residents. They will be restricted to those 18 and older.
The McHenry County Department of Health has been working to secure sites throughout the county that could provide drive-thru options for vaccinations, the Northwest Herald has reported. Two possible sites include Algonquin's public works facility and the McHenry County Fairgrounds in Woodstock, and a third is in the works.