“Today marks a momentous occasion – not just this year, but in American history.”
On Sunday, December 13, less than 48 hours after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized emergency vaccinations, nearly three million vaccine doses left a Pfizer Michigan factory destined for hospitals all over the United States. Yesterday, Monday, December 14 the first batch of vaccines arrived in Chicago and the first U.S. citizen officially received a COVID-19 vaccination in New York. That day has now come to Chicago and at 10:30 am today, Chicago’s first vaccine dose will be given in West Side’s Loretto Hospital.
23,000 vaccine doses will continue to be distributed to Chicago hospitals and over 100,000 across Illinois where health care workers will be the first to be vaccinated. The historic day will be live-streamed by officials and you’ll be able to watch it taking place at the Austin hospital.
Officials believe that today will begin a year-long process to vaccinate all Chicago citizens and finally put an end to the COVID-19 pandemic. Right now, vaccines are being prioritized for health care workers, people working directly with COVID-19 patients, and those who live or work in long-term care facilities. The general public will not be able to receive the vaccine for a few months but with Moderna also seeking approval of its vaccine, anything could happen in 2021. Mass vaccination sites will be expected to go up in early January where health care workers can go to be vaccinated.
Illinois Governor JB Pritzker said in yesterday’s COVID-19 update that vaccine distribution teams will be shipping out vaccines from a strategic national stockpile warehouse to hospital distribution centers all over Illinois today and Wednesday. “At the recommendation of the CDC and medical professionals, a portion of our vaccine will be shipped directly from the manufacturer to four of our larger public health departments in Cook County, Lake County, Madison County, and St.Clair County.”
More specific details have not been made clear but Loretto Hospital’s position as the first hospital to oversee the vaccination is significant. The West Side was hit hard by the pandemic and with a low-income population, it is a clear sign that this vaccine will be distributed fairly across Illinois.
“The fact that we are one of the first to get the vaccination is recognition that life has not always been fair for African Americans because of the disparities and inequities that exist,” said Loretto Hospital President, George Miller.
Governor JB Pritzker also poignantly remarked that “We are seeing the beginning of the end of this pandemic.”
You can see Governor JB Pritzker’s COVID-19 update from Monday, December 15, 2020, below:
[Featured image from Shuttershock]