Illinois Leaders Continue to Release Vaccine Distribution Plan
Illinois leaders continue to add to their COVID-19 vaccination distribution plan once doses become available to the general public.
State Department of Public Health director Dr. Ngozi Ezike says it will be an All-In Illinois effort.
"People will go to their doctor's offices. There will be mass vaccination drives. Some will be held in churches. Some people will go to pharmacies. They will go to the federally qualified health centers. They will go to their local health departments. There will be many different groups. There will be some EMS groups that will be participating in this effort."
Ezike says she wants all hands on deck to get as many people vaccinated as quickly as possible. She says the state is also working on offering drive-thru vaccination sites.
Ezike says she knows there are some who will not feel comfortable getting the shots. She says alternative protocols could be put in place for those who don't get vaccinated.
"Maybe there's a reassignment. Maybe they have to continue to wear a mask. All those kinds of things. Those have not been mapped out. There is no mandate in place."
Betty Blue of Chicago volunteered for the Moderna vaccine trial.
"When the vaccines become available...please take it. Do your research, find out more about it. Don't just take my word for it."
If Pfizer receives emergency use approval this week from the FDA, Illinois could receive its first shipment of the vaccine within a few days. Moderna will seek FDA approval next week.
Despite the excitement about the potential roll out of a COVID-19 vaccine soon, health leaders warn this will not solve the pandemic all by itself.
Ezike says the path toward ending the pandemic is layered and a vaccine alone won't do it.
"We still are going to need to wear our masks. We still are going to need to limit our gatherings and watch our distance. But, absolutely this vaccine is a key weapon in our arsenal."
But, she says without public health measures and a vaccine, the pandemic will extend far longer than it should, with more lives lost and more small businesses destroyed.