Gov. Pritzker announces next phase of COVID-19 vaccine distribution, lowers age to 65

Gov. Pritzker announces next phase of COVID-19 vaccine distribution, lowers age to 65
(Source: WFIE)

ILLINOIS (WFIE) - Governor Pritzker announced guidelines for the next stage of COVID-19 vaccine distribution across Illinois – Phase 1B.

“ACIP’s guidance serves as the foundational blueprint for Illinois’ Phase 1B plan, with one key adjustment: here in Illinois we are more strongly pursuing equity in the distribution of our vaccinations,” said Governor JB Pritzker.

“With limited amounts of vaccine available at this time, it is important to prioritize individuals who are at greatest risk of exposure to COVID-19 and those at greatest risk of severe illness or death,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike. “Generally, Latinx and Black populations have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 with data showing related deaths at younger ages.  We are hopeful that by lowering the eligibility age to 65 years we can help reduce this disparity.”

Phase 1B will begin when Phase 1A is substantially complete. It will include all Illinois residents age 65 years and older and “frontline essential workers,” as outlined by ACIP.

The category defined by the federal government as frontline essential workers, which the CDC estimates as about 30 million Americans, includes first responders; education workers, including teachers, support staff and childcare workers; manufacturing, distribution and agriculture workers, including grocery store workers; United States Postal Service workers; public transit employees; corrections workers and incarcerated people, and others.

All in all, Phase 1B totals approximately 3.2 million people throughout the state of Illinois.

The Illinois National Guard will be assisting in the development of mass vaccination sites and the state will be increasing the number of providers enrolled in the state’s vaccination database to support widespread availability when the time comes.

Click here to learn more about Phase 1B

Gov. Pritzker also said any region who meets low enough positivity rates will be able to move out of Tier 3 mitigation Jan. 15.

Wednesday, Illinois reported 7,579 new coronavirus cases and 139 new deaths.

That brings the total in Illinois to 999,288 confirmed positive coronavirus cases and 17,096 deaths.

The state map shows one additional death in White County.

It shows 10 new cases in Wayne County, 20 new cases in White County, 17 new cases in Wabash County, and eight new cases in Edwards County.

Illinois Coronavirus Website

Here is the total number of coronavirus cases and deaths reported in our area:

  • Wayne County - 1,392 cases, 41 deaths
  • White County - 1,191 cases, 22 deaths
  • Wabash County - 1,100 cases, 11 deaths
  • Edwards County - 427 cases, 6 deaths

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