First COVID-19 vaccine shipment arrives in Illinois

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Information provided by the Governor’s Office

PEORIA, Ill. (December 14, 2020) – On Monday, December 14, the State of Illinois received the first shipment of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine at the Illinois Strategic National Stockpile (SNS).

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Governor JB Pritzker watches as dry ice is removed from a shipment of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines at the Illinois Strategic National Stockpile. (Screenshot from state video)

The state received approximately 43,000 doses in the first shipment and expects additional shipments in the coming weeks. The vast majority of doses in this shipment will be delivered from the SNS to Regional Hospital Coordination Centers around the state that will serve as pick up locations for local health departments to begin distribution to healthcare workers in their jurisdictions, with the remaining portion going directly to predetermined local health departments.

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4,875 doses of the Pfizer vaccine are placed in a freezer. The vaccine must stay colder than minus 60 degrees Celsius during the transfer from shipping box to freezer, according to a state official. (Screenshot from state video)

Chicago received a direct shipment from the federal government today as well. Four additional local health departments around the state will also receive direct shipments from the federal government later this week: Cook County Department of Public Health, Lake County Health Department and Community Health Center, Madison County Health Department, and St. Clair County Health Department. These direct shipments account for the state’s initial expected allocation of 100,000 doses.

Governor’s comments

Governor JB Pritzker said, “Today marks a momentous occasion—not just this year, but in American history. Eleven months after scientists the world over first got their hands on the genetic sequence of this virus—and we are seeing the beginning of the end of this pandemic. I want to offer my gratitude not only to the researchers who fueled this moment, but also to all the truck drivers, pilots, logistics specialists, warehouse operations managers, and law enforcement officers who have spent the last few days and weeks deploying the largest national mission in a generation. May we all take a moment to feel hope today.”

Local impact

In an email to the Lansing Journal on Monday, Lansing Fire Chief Chad Kooyenga said, “Communication in regards to the vaccine has been handled by our MABAS [Mutual Aid Box Alarm System] Division in addition to the Illinois Dept. of Public Health. We are in the midst of formulating a response plan currently.”

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