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Illinois receives first coronavirus vaccine shipment

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SPRINGFIELD — Illinois has received the first shipment of the coronavirus vaccine from Pfizer, the state said on Monday.

The governor’s office said Illinois received approximately 43,000 doses in the first shipment and expects additional shipments in the coming weeks.

The majority of doses in this shipment will be delivered from the Illinois Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) to Regional Hospital Coordination Centers 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. 

Chicago, Cook County, Lake County, Madison County and St. Clair County received direct shipments of the vaccine from the federal government. The city and those counties also have some of the largest populations and highest numbers of cases in the state. Their shipments put the state’s total allocation to near 100,000.

“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,” said Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker in a statement. “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.” 

Also on Monday, Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) reported 7,214 new confirmed and probable cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), including 103 additional deaths. As of Sunday night, 4,951 in Illinois were reported to be in the hospital with COVID-19. Of those, 1,070 patients were in the ICU and 621 patients with COVID-19 were on ventilators.

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