Vaccines to go to 50 Illinois counties with top death rates

The initial delivery of vaccines to prevent COVID-19 in Illinois will be distributed among the 50 counties with the highest death rates per capita, Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Friday as the coronavirus claimed an additional 148 lives in the state.

Posted: Dec 4, 2020 6:41 PM

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The initial delivery of vaccines to prevent COVID-19 in Illinois will be distributed among the 50 counties with the highest death rates per capita, Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Friday as the coronavirus claimed an additional 148 lives in the state.

Officials are expecting an opening shipment of 109,000 vaccine doses as early as mid-month. While hundreds of thousands more are expected in subsequent weeks, Pritzker said, he would not predict how long it would take to vaccinate those first in line.

Dr. Ngozi Ezike, the state public health director, reported 10,526 newly confirmed cases of the coronavirus. The 148 deaths was the eighth-highest single-day total during the pandemic. Fatalities have topped 100 on eight of the last 11 days.

Illinois is following federal guidelines for distributing the vaccine, with health professionals and nursing home residents part of what’s called Phase 1a. Nationally, there are 24 million front-line health care workers and residents of long-term care facilities, Pritzker said. State officials did not respond to a question regarding the number of Illinois residents who qualify for Phase 1a.

“The very first vaccinations will be dedicated to hospitals and health care workers in the 50 counties with the highest death rates per capita,” Pritzker said at his daily COVID-19 briefing in Chicago. “Some quick math will tell you that it’s going to take multiple weeks of distribution to even get our health care workers their first of the two doses that they require, while also getting to the long-term care facility residents.”

Vaccines created by Pfizer and Moderna, which experts predict will get federal regulatory approval next week, each require two shots, with the second shot of the Pfizer vaccine coming three weeks after the first and Moderna’s, four weeks.

Complicating matters is the storage requirement for the Pfizer product. The state has purchased 20 specialized freezers to store it at the required minus 94 degrees, Ezike said.

Pritzker was asked how he will ensure that the priority list isn’t disrupted by the wealthy or connected cutting in line, an especially sensitive subject in Illinois, where there’s a history of favoritism to those with political clout. Pritzker said that each of the 96 county public health departments is required to submit a plan for approval by the Illinois Department of Public Health that conforms with state parameters.

“Then they’re responsible for distributing the vaccine to the providers that will administer it to the communities that are in each phase as its laid out,” Pritzker said. “That’s the most important thing.”

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List of 50 counties with vaccine-distribution priority: https://bit.ly/3mIu1Dz

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Follow Political Writer John O’Connor at https://twitter.com/apoconnor

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Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Cases: 1086333

Reported Deaths: 20423
CountyCasesDeaths
Cook4391189148
DuPage699001160
Will58974881
Lake53926901
Kane46512696
Winnebago26504412
Madison24822471
St. Clair22624433
McHenry21916251
Champaign15667104
Peoria15231250
Sangamon14658236
McLean13350168
Tazewell12087249
Rock Island12027304
Kankakee11593185
Kendall981981
LaSalle9595248
Macon8893182
Vermilion7634115
DeKalb756592
Adams7442123
Williamson6247117
Boone558778
Whiteside5317175
Clinton510786
Coles473982
Ogle465171
Knox4640146
Grundy444554
Effingham433470
Jackson424470
Henry404477
Marion4026113
Macoupin391396
Franklin388470
Randolph374970
Livingston369768
Monroe362871
Stephenson356777
Jefferson3493104
Morgan327492
Woodford327067
Logan311557
Montgomery310548
Lee307674
Bureau301984
Christian300775
Fayette293653
Perry273961
Iroquois260558
Fulton258149
Jersey225859
Lawrence219030
McDonough216451
Saline204254
Douglas202134
Union200432
Shelby199135
Crawford179434
Cass176631
Bond176224
Warren159144
Pike157148
Richland155345
Wayne152843
Hancock151134
Jo Daviess150524
Clark150133
Washington146925
Edgar146553
Carroll145133
Ford138851
Moultrie138728
White136330
Clay132240
Greene125743
Johnson122415
Wabash119314
Piatt118216
Mason118041
Mercer117830
De Witt116327
Cumberland110027
Jasper104715
Massac104732
Menard90210
Hamilton72017
Marshall68214
Schuyler63216
Pulaski6203
Brown61311
Stark49520
Edwards4709
Henderson45616
Calhoun4464
Scott3961
Alexander3957
Gallatin3924
Putnam3522
Hardin3078
Pope2533
Unassigned1060
Out of IL320

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Cases: 601937

Reported Deaths: 9593
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion831111322
Lake44972678
Allen32498545
Hamilton29039315
St. Joseph27133380
Elkhart24291343
Vanderburgh19160246
Tippecanoe17799130
Johnson14871292
Porter14631167
Hendricks14188247
Madison10851219
Vigo10636178
Clark10520137
Monroe9299110
Delaware9055134
LaPorte8972160
Howard8134142
Kosciusko800382
Warrick665197
Hancock6575103
Bartholomew637999
Floyd6322109
Wayne6076161
Grant5937113
Dubois552578
Boone544967
Morgan530594
Henry503464
Marshall499884
Cass478663
Dearborn470745
Noble468357
Jackson420747
Shelby410781
Lawrence387478
Clinton370642
Gibson365559
DeKalb344264
Montgomery340754
Harrison340544
Knox333139
Miami317344
Steuben311545
Whitley301725
Wabash299747
Adams299035
Ripley296545
Putnam292049
Huntington288659
Jasper287634
White270340
Daviess266073
Jefferson257938
Fayette245148
Decatur244883
Greene238162
Posey236927
Wells233350
LaGrange226361
Scott221838
Clay220932
Randolph212148
Jennings195836
Sullivan190833
Spencer188019
Fountain182127
Washington182022
Starke174443
Jay166322
Owen162837
Fulton162330
Orange156333
Carroll155415
Rush153318
Perry151227
Vermillion147334
Franklin146933
Tipton130932
Parke13018
Pike115626
Blackford110522
Pulaski96137
Newton90521
Brown86833
Benton85910
Crawford7839
Martin72313
Warren6757
Switzerland6455
Union6227
Ohio4787
Unassigned0375