Will County hospitals hope to receive a shipment of vaccines this week

Morris Hospital is not included in this first round of distribution

Although the first shipment of vaccines from the Strategic National Stockpile of 109,00 COVID-19 vaccine doses is expected to arrive in Will County this week, the exact timing is yet unknown.

Will County expects to receive 4,960 doses of Pfizer’s vaccines in its allocation, according to the Will County Health Department, but the actual number each hospital will absolutely receive is unknown.

“That’s up to the Department of Health,” Timothy A. Nelson, spokesman for AMITA Health, said. “We did put in our request, but everything is in a state of flux.”

The health department said the first phase of vaccinations will be for health care workers, physicians, nurses, nursing assistants, environmental services workers, respiratory technicians, dentists, hygienists, long term care staff, assisted living staff, home caregivers, morticians, funeral directors, and coroner staff who work with the deceased.

Each person will need two doses of the vaccination, so the 4,960 doses will be good for only 2,480 inoculations.

“We are planning to vaccinate all the health care workers who want to receive them,” Nelson said, adding that priority will be given to those who work directly with COVID-19 patients.

The Pfizer vaccine is not an FDA-approved vaccine,  but the FDA did authorize it for emergency use, according to the FDA fact sheet for health care providers.

Nelson said AMITA Health Saint Joseph Medical Center in Joliet and AMITA Health Adventist Medical Center Bolingbrook may receive delivery of vaccines on Wednesday.

Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox may receive a shipment of vaccines on Tuesday, according to Debra Robbins, director of marketing and community relations at Silver Cross.

Janet Long, spokesperson for Morris Hospital, said Morris Hospital was not expecting to receive vaccines in this first round of distribution.

That’s because Illinois prioritized the initial shipment to the 50 counties with the highest death rates per capita and Grundy County isn’t one of those counties, Long said.

However, we do anticipate receiving some supply within the next week,” Long said in an email, “and we will begin vaccinating employees right away.”