News Tribune

Sue Rezin, other Senate Republicans write to Gov. Pritzker to question administration’s vaccine distribution

‘There is no excuse for Illinois to be doing such a poor job at taking care of our most vulnerable citizens’

State Senator Sue Rezin joined 17 of her colleagues from the Illinois Senate Republicans to deliver a letter to Governor Pritzker’s office looking for answers on the speed and effectiveness of the Administration’s vaccine rollout.

The letter states that, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health, the state has 537,050 doses of vaccine available and allotted to be used at long-term care facilities.

“Throughout this entire pandemic, Governor Pritzker has chosen to unilaterally act without the input of the legislature. This failure falls directly at the feet of his administration.”

—  State Senator Sue Rezin

Of those doses, the letter states only 20% have been administered to these residents belonging to a population that makes up nearly half of COVID-related deaths.

State Senator Jason Barickman also signed the letter and stated he believes in order to protect Illinoisans, there must be change moving forward.

“There is no excuse for Illinois to be doing such a poor job at taking care of our most vulnerable citizens,” Barickman said. “The current plan isn’t working. It’s time to change course and get the job done.”

The letter cites a New York Times article stating that Illinois ranks 47th in overall vaccine distribution, with 4.8% of Illinoisans receiving at least one shot as of Jan. 28.

“Illinois’ vaccine distribution ranking underscores the Pritzker Administration’s blatant failures to protect Illinois citizens,” Rezin said. “Throughout this entire pandemic, Governor Pritzker has chosen to unilaterally act without the input of the legislature.

“This failure falls directly at the feet of his administration.”

Those who signed the letter asked the Governor’s office to provide a clear explanation to legislators and citizens of Illinois as to why Illinois is among the worst states in regard to getting vaccines out to those who need it most.

“The Governor must now explain to the people of Illinois why our vaccination distribution ranks among the worst in the country,” Rezin said. “It is time for him to give up his steadfast refusal to allow our co-equal branch of government to be involved in the management of this virus.”

The Senate Republicans claim Pritzker has taken a “go-it-alone approach” since the beginning of the pandemic and called for full transparency and cooperation with legislatures to ensure the safety of all citizens.

“Unfortunately, instead of trying to work with the legislature or change course with the state’s lagging response efforts, the Governor has repeatedly tried to put the blame on the federal government or vaccine shortages,” Barickman said. “The truth is that we have the vaccines on hand right now.

“The federal government isn’t holding this up. Every other state is facing the same challenges as Illinois, but nearly all of them are doing a better job.”

The La Salle County Health Department stated the demand for the vaccine is obviously greater than the current supply, but it has been consistently receiving shipments of the vaccine. The department has been in collaboration with local hospitals and has been able to efficiently vaccinate the majority of individuals in Phase 1A, it said.

The LCHD has fielded complaints from the public awaiting their turn to receive the vaccine and have tried to educate those who called in the logistics needed at a COVID-19 vaccination clinic. The La Salle County Health Department hopes the State of Illinois is working with the federal government to get more vaccine doses into the state and into the area.