Illinois Governor JB Pritzker said Illinois would not halve its number of initial vaccine doses due to the need for each person to receive two, correcting his remarks the day before.
The governor said on Tuesday that the state expected more than 100,000 doses, according to initial estimates, but that only about 50,000 residents could receive these vaccines because each person needs two doses.
On Wednesday, however, Pritzker said it was not.
Instead, the governor said the state can distribute all doses to residents because the second dose of the vaccine won’t be needed until three or four weeks after the initial dose. By that time, he said, the state will have received additional shipments.
“We will be able to serve more at the same time,” Pritzker said.
Those comments were echoed Tuesday by Chicago Department of Public Health commissioner Dr Allison Arwady.
Arwady said the city planned to release the full amount early on, noting that there was “a reserve in place” for those who receive the first dose to get their second dose.
“We literally plan on getting extra allowances every week,” Arwady said. “So we expect that first week, maybe 20-25,000. If, for example, it’s the Pfizer vaccine, if the Moderna vaccine comes just a week after that, we not only hope that we can receive Pfizer additional. vaccine, but be able to receive the first dose of Moderna vaccine. And there’s a federal system in place that basically allocates the vaccine based on population, but then we have to be able to show that we are using this vaccine appropriately here. We have very good plans that will allow us to continue to scale up the vaccine regardless of the rate at which it is available.
The “first mass air shipment” of COVID-19 vaccines arrived at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport on Friday as airlines and pharmaceutical companies continued to prepare for large-scale distribution.
United Airlines transported Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine on a cargo flight from Brussels, Belgium, to O’Hare Airport, according to people familiar with the matter.
United Airlines did not confirm any details about the flight, but in a statement said: “United Cargo created a COVID preparedness task force earlier this summer to help us put the right people, products, services and partnerships to support a worldwide vaccine distribution effort. “
Pfizer is still seeking emergency use authorization from the US Food and Drug Administration. The pharmaceutical giant has completed its phase three trial and found the vaccine to be at 95%.
Pritzker said he believed the shipment had been sent to a Pfizer facility near Kenosha, Wisconsin, as the company awaited FDA approval.