CHICAGO — An initial shipment of 23,000 doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine could arrive in Chicago as early as next week, officials said Wednesday, as they outlined the city’s framework for giving out the vaccine once it’s made available.
Earlier Wednesday, U.S. health and defense officials laid out their plans for distributing the country’s supplies of the Pfizer vaccine once it gets final approval from the FDA.
As part of this initial wave, Illinois will receive 109,000 total doses including 23,000 reserved for Chicago. Those in turn will be distributed to all 34 hospitals across the city and administered to frontline healthcare workers only, officials said Wednesday.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Chicago Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady outlined the city’s vaccination plans during a press conference Wednesday. The city’s plan and additional information are also available online.
WATCH ABOVE: Mayor Lori Lightfoot and health officials outline their plan for distributing Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine in Chicago Wednesday
They said Chicago will receive additional shipments of the Pfizer vaccine every subsequent week, with the city expecting 100,000-150,000 doses by the end of the year. Each person who is vaccinated will need to receive two doses.
While first priority will go to frontline healthcare workers, next in line will include people who meet any of the following criteria:
- Residents and staff at long-term care facilities
- Workers in essential and critical industries including emergency services personnel
- People at high risk for severe COVID-19 illness due to underlying medical conditions
- People who are 65 years of age and older
With widespread vaccines for the general population months away, Mayor Lori Lightfoot pleaded with residents to keep up their guard.
Chicago’s test positivity rate remains above 13% Wednesday, with the northwest and southwest sides registering alarming rates between 20% and 26%.
Lightfoot and Arwady said their plan for distributing the vaccine is focused on equity when it comes to the hardest hit black and brown communities.
British medical regulators put out assurances that the Pfizer/BioNTech shot is as safe as any general vaccine after sharing the news that some people who received the vaccine experienced allergic reactions.
They advised that people with severe allergies should receive their doses at a hospital or other location which is equipped to handle a severe reaction.