Illinois, Chicago prepare to distribute Pfizer vaccine once approved
CHICAGO (WLS) -- Illinois public health officials reported 7,910 COVID-19 cases and 145 related deaths Tuesday.
The total number of cases in Illinois now stands at 804,174, with a total of 13,487 deaths.
Over a 24-hour period, officials said the state processed 95,825 specimens. In total there have been 11,274,608 specimens tested since the start of the pandemic in Illinois.
The preliminary seven-day statewide test positivity from Dec. 1 - Dec. 7 is 11.8%.
The test positivity rate is a metric the state began providing in late October. It is calculated by using the total number of positive tests over the total number of tests. This is the metric being used to by state health officials to make decisions about mitigations.
As of Monday night, 5,199 people in Illinois were reported to be hospitalized with COVID-19. Of those, 1,071 patients were in the ICU with COVID-19 and 626 patients with COVID-19 were on ventilators.
The first Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines were administered in the United Kingdom Tuesday, with a 91-year-old woman in central England receiving the first shot Tuesday morning. In the U.S., we're still waiting on FDA approval for any of the vaccines; Pfizer's is up for review on Thursday.
Health officials hope that with FDA confirming Tuesday the efficacy and safety of the Pfizer vaccine, people who've been reluctant to take this lightning fast vaccine will reconsider, even while it may be months before it becomes available to the public-at-large
Bonine Blue, who participated in the Moderna trials in Chicago, does not know if she got the vaccine or the placebo. She joined the governor in trying to alleviate concerns about the vaccine, which are more widespread in Black and brown communities than among whites.
"What I am asking is, please, do what you have to do to stay safe," she said. "When the vaccines become available, please take it."
"We'll continue to put out information about this vaccine, as well as working with various community groups to make sure that everyone has the information they need to make an informed decision," said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike.
Ezike said the state will make as much information available about the vaccine as it gets, so people can make an informed decision for themselves. Pritzker said people should listen to medical expert and scientists, not conspiracy theorists spreading misinformation on social media.
Thousands of doses are believed to already pre-positioned in the Chicago area, ready for deployment as soon as the FDA gives the expected green light to Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine. It is something that could happen by the end of the week and approval, can't come soon enough.
"These next four weeks may be the most crucial month of this entire pandemic," said Governor JB Pritzker. "We quite literally have very limited leeway in our hospital systems to manage another surge."
Illinois is expected to receive around 109,000 doses of Pfizer's vaccine in its first shipment, enough to inoculate around 54,500 people. Chicago, because of its size will receive its own shipment of the vaccine, anticipating it will get enough to cover 20 to 25,000 people.
"We have plans to get it out in approximately the first week to all 34 hospitals and in the following week all 128 of our long term care facilities, so we're excited and ready to go," said Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady.
And though a coronavirus vaccine is not expected to be available to the general population for some time, will Chicagoans get it once they can? Opinions differ.
"I don't think it's safe right now," said Margaret Bryant. "They're rushing to do it, because so many people have died. And I agree with that but I don't think that, I think there's going to be too many side effects down the road."
"It seems like the whole scientific community came together because knew this was needed for the world and so put their minds together, lots of folks volunteered funding was available and so I feel confident," said Eva Keller.
In addition to prioritizing health care workers and nursing home residents and staff for inoculation, the state's plan is to distribute the first shipment to 50 of Illinois' 102 counties with the highest per capital death rates, in an attempt to ease suffering in those hardest hit areas.
The deaths reported Tuesday include:
- Boone County: 1 male 80s
- Christian County: 1 female 70s
- Clay County: 1 male 50s
- Clinton County: 1 male 60s
- Coles County: 1 female 80s
- Cook County: 2 males 30s, 2 females 60s, 3 males 60s, 1 female 70s, 4 males 70s, 7 females 80s, 2 males 80s, 3 females 90s, 7 males 90s, 2 females 100+
- DeKalb County: 1 female 90s
- DuPage County: 1 female 70s, 2 females 80s, 1 female 90s, 1 male 90s
- Effingham County: 1 female 80s, 1 male 80s
- Franklin County: 1 female 70s, 1 male 80s
- Fulton County: 1 male 70s
- Grundy County: 1 female 70s
- Hamilton County: 1 female 70s
- Hardin County: 1 female 90s
- Iroquois County: 2 females 70s, 1 male 70s
- Jackson County: 2 males 70s
- Jasper County: 1 female 90s
- Kankakee County: 1 male 60s, 1 female 70s
- Kendall County: 1 male 40s, 1 female 80s
- Knox County: 1 male 70s, 1 female 80s
- Lake County: 1 male 50s, 1 male 60s, 1 female 70s, 1 male 70s
- LaSalle County: 1 male 70s, 1 female 80s, 2 males 80s, 3 males 90s
- Lawrence County: 1 female 90s
- Lee County: 1 female 80s
- Livingston County: 1 male 80s, 2 females 90s
- Logan County: 1 female 90s
- Macon County: 1 male 90s
- Macoupin County: 1 female 90s
- Madison County: 2 males 50s, 2 females 70s, 1 female 80s, 2 males 80s, 2 females 90s, 1 male 90s
- Marion County: 2 females 80s, 2 males 80s
- Mason County: 1 female 70s, 1 female 90s, 1 male 90s
- McHenry County: 1 female 70s, 1 male 70s, 1 female 80s
- McLean County: 1 male 90s
- Mercer County: 1 female 80s
- Monroe County: 1 male 70s, 1 male 80s
- Morgan County: 1 male 30s, 1 male 90s
- Moultrie County: 1 female 80s
- Peoria County: 1 female 90s
- Perry County: 1 male 90s
- Pike County: 1 male 50s
- Richland County: 1 female 90s
- Rock Island County: 1 male 50s, 2 males 60s, 3 males 80s, 1 female 90s
- Sangamon County: 1 male 70s, 1 male 90s
- Shelby County: 1 male 70s
- St. Clair County: 1 male 50s, 1 female 60s, 1 male 70s, 1 male 80s
- Tazewell County: 1 male 60s, 1 male 90s
- Warren County: 1 male 70s
- Washington County: 1 male 80s
- Whiteside County: 1 male 60s, 1 female 70s, 1 female 90s
- Will County: 1 male 40s, 1 female 50s, 1 male 60s, 2 females 80s, 1 male 80s
- Williamson County: 2 males 70s
- Winnebago County: 1 female 70s, 1 male 90s