Which suburban hospitals are getting COVID-19 vaccines first
Illinois health care workers and residents of long-term care facilities will be prioritized for COVID-19 vaccines, assuming approvals are granted by federal regulators in the coming days, Gov. J.B. Pritzker said at a briefing Friday.
And the first doses will go to 10 hospitals to distribute in 50 counties with the highest death rates per capita, officials said. Those hospitals include four in the suburbs: Advocate Sherman Hospital in Elgin, Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, Northshore Highland Park Hospital, and Advocate Christ Hospital and Medical Center in Oak Lawn.
Out of 109,000 initial doses coming to Illinois, 23,000 are allocated to Chicago and 86,000 to the rest of the state.
"There will be shipments of more and more vaccines each week following that first shipment's arrival," Pritzker said.
Pritzker praised the skill and speed of scientists at Pfizer Inc. and Moderna Inc., the first pharmaceutical companies to seek emergency use permits for separate vaccines, but he noted that the general population will have to wait for inoculations.
"With the two-dose timeline, no single person will be fully vaccinated even by Christmas, and it will likely be months before people with low-risk factors see their first dose," he said.
There are 654,598 front line health care workers and 109,227 long-term care seniors in Illinois who would receive the vaccine first.
Pfizer's vaccine, if approved by the Federal Drug Administration Dec. 10, could be dispersed starting Dec. 13. Moderna's version is scheduled for a Dec. 17 FDA decision and could start flowing Dec. 20, Pritzker said.
Next in line for vaccines after health care workers and nursing homes will be essential workers and people with high-risk medical conditions. Another consideration are Black and Hispanic communities with high COVID-19 mortality rates, officials said. The CDC is still determining priorities for those groups.
Chicago will receive its vaccines separately; the supply for the rest of Illinois will be kept in a state facility. The Illinois Department of Public Health bought 20 ultracold freezers for the Pfizer version, which must be stored at temperatures of minus 94 degrees Fahrenheit.
Hospitals and local health department will coordinate "to identify high-risk and critical health care workers for the initial vaccine administration," IDPH Director Ngozi Ezike said.
Highland Park Hospital will receive 27,300 vaccines, Loyola 16,575, Christ Hospital 8,775, and Sherman Hospital 7,800.
Other Illinois hospitals that will receive initial shipments are Rockford Memorial Hospital, OSF St. Francis Medical Center in Peoria, St. John's Hospital in Springfield, Memorial Hospital in Belleville, SIH Memorial Hospital of Carbondale and Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana.
Ezike also noted "there is a federal partnership with CVS and Walgreens' pharmacies to directly vaccinate residents of the long-term care facilities."
Of the 50 counties with high death rates, Greene County near St. Louis ranks first with 214.7 per 100,000 people. Suburban Cook was 29th with 122.8 deaths per 100,000.
Lake was ranked 40th with 91.2 deaths per 100,000, Kane was 42nd and DuPage was 44th -- both had 84.6 deaths per 100,000. Will was 45th with 81.6 deaths per 100,000.
New cases of COVID-19 totaled 10,526 Friday with 148 additional deaths from the respiratory disease, as hospitalizations dipped by 5.5%, officials reported. The number of patients in Illinois hospitals as of Thursday night was 5,453, lower than the seven-day average of 5,741. Total hospitalizations in the last seven days stand at 40,187, a 5.5% decrease from 42,546 people Nov. 20-26, Illinois Department of Public Health data shows.
Meanwhile, suburban Cook and the collar counties remain above a state target that would indicate a lowered risk level for COVID-19.
Two weeks ago, Pritzker imposed statewide restrictions intended to tamp down a surge in COVID-19 cases. These include closing movie theaters temporarily, limits of 50% capacity at grocery stores and 25% at other stores, suspending indoor group sports, closing casinos and gambling terminals, and banning events at banquet halls, party venues and clubs.
For those measures to be relaxed, a state public health region must have positive results on COVID-19 tests of less than 12% for three days and show declining hospitalization metrics. Pritzker also said Monday he was in no hurry to ease the rules at least for a couple of weeks because of an expected infection uptick related to Thanksgiving celebrations.
In suburban Cook County (Region 10) the test positivity rate was 12.4% as of Tuesday compared to 14.4% on Nov. 22, the IDPH reported. In Lake and McHenry counties (Region 9) the test positivity rate was 12.8% as of Tuesday versus 13.5% on Nov. 22.
In DuPage and Kane counties (Region 8) the test rate was 13.2% as of Tuesday contrasted with 14.4% Nov. 22. Will and Kankakee counties (Region 7) have the highest levels in the suburbs with a 16.8% test positivity on Tuesday compared to 18.1% on Nov. 22.
All five regions underwent initial restrictions, such as no indoor dining, in October.
The state's virus test positivity rate is 10.3% based on a seven-day average.
Labs processed 112,634 virus tests in the last 24 hours.
Infections in Illinois since the pandemic began are at 770,088 and the total number of people who have died is 12,974.