According to Governor Pritzker, Illinois is about to be on the receiving end of the first shipment of 109,000 dosages of COVID-19 vaccine. Then comes the process of figuring out where those initial dosages will be going throughout the state.

Since the announcement of the viability and coming availability of several different vaccines for COVID-19, the question most of us have asked is "When will it be available here in the Rockford area?"

During her weekly press briefing, Winnebago County Health Department (WCHD) director Dr. Sandra Martell said that the expectation is that the vaccine would be made available here in the Rockford area “in mid-December, possibly between December 11th and 13th."

Those dates, as she pointed out, are contingent on FDA approval. The FDA is currently working through its emergency approval process with the Pfizer vaccine. Pfizer's vaccine, like other vaccines being tested, would be a two-injection process. One injection, followed 3 weeks later with another to reach full effectiveness against the COVID-19 virus.

As you may have guessed from the 109,000 dosages figure, not everyone is going to be able to start the injection process at the same time, and a slow roll-out is planned simply due to the initial lack of availability.

Dr. Martell says that the working plan is to make sure that healthcare workers and those residing in long-term care facilities would be the first to receive the vaccine, with the rest of us looking at a Spring or Summer opportunity.

Martell said the initial rollout is “very limited in scope,” but would be voluntary and a consent process will be required. She said employers will “highly encourage” healthcare workers to take the vaccine, and said it could become mandatory, along with other vaccines, once it receives a normal, rather than emergency, FDA authorization.



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