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Federal officials are apologizing for what they call a "miscommunication" over the number of coronavirus vaccine doses that state governments can expect to get in coming weeks, saying that reductions were necessary due to a variety of factors.
Elsewhere, officials at an Illinois hospital have temporarily paused coronavirus vaccinations after several staff members experienced complications from the treatment.
State charities are also struggling amid the pandemic, with donations dropping due to the ongoing financial challenges the virus is posing to families.
Here are the latest coronavirus updates for Dec. 19 and 20:
Vaccinations to Resume at Suburban Hospital After Being Paused Due to Adverse Reactions
Officials at Advocate Condell Medical Center in suburban Libertyville say they will resume coronavirus vaccinations of staff members on Sunday after pausing the injections following reactions in four staffers who received the treatment this week.
The decision to pause vaccinations was made Friday after four individuals who received the treatment experienced tingling and elevated heartrates shortly after receiving the injection.
After consulting with infectious disease experts and state and federal officials, the decision was made to resume vaccinations, with officials saying that the four individuals who suffered adverse reactions were recovering quickly.
Illinois Reports 7,562 New Coronavirus Cases, 108 Additional Deaths Saturday
Illinois health officials reported 7,562 new cases of coronavirus on Saturday, along with 108 additional deaths attributed to the virus.
According to the latest numbers from the Illinois Department of Public Health, Illinois now has 894,367 probable or confirmed cases of coronavirus during the pandemic, and will likely cross the 900,000 cases threshold on Sunday.
The 108 additional fatalities on Saturday bring the state to 15,123 deaths as a result of the pandemic, with another 1,203 deaths classified as “probable” COVID-19-related fatalities, according to IDPH data.
Gen. Perna Apologizes for ‘Miscommunication' Over Available COVID-19 Vaccine Doses
With multiple states, including Illinois, announcing this week that they anticipated receiving far fewer doses of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine than previously revealed, the chief operating officer of Operation Warp Speed says he is taking personal responsibility for “miscommunication” over the dispersal of the vaccine.
Army General Gustave Perna, the COO of Operation Warp Speed, spoke to the press on Saturday morning, says that officials are working hard to provide accurate numbers to states, but that he was forced to lower allocations of the vaccine because of limits in the amount of “releasable doses” available to various agencies in the coming weeks.
“I want to assure everybody, and I want to take personal responsibility for the miscommunication. I know that’s not done much these days, but I am responsible, and I take responsibility for the miscommunication,” he said. “The number of doses available to us to allocate ended up being lower, so as we gave forecasts to the jurisdictions and governors and states worked their priorities against those forecasts, what we had to decide was what was going to be shipped out, I had to lower the allocations to meet the releasable doses that were presented to me.”
Central Illinois Charities Facing Tough Obstacles Amid COVID-19 Pandemic
With the winter holidays approaching, charities and non-profit organizations throughout the United States traditionally amplify their year-round calls to remember the less fortunate.
During the 2020 holidays season, however, the COVID-19 pandemic has swelled the ranks of the less fortunate, while rendering the organizations whose mission it is to help them less fortunate themselves. Tazewell County non-for-profit organizations like We Care of Morton and the Tazewell County Child Advocacy Center (CAC) in Pekin depend heavily each year on in-person fund-raising events like golf outings and trivia nights. But physical distancing protocols during the pandemic have forced organizations throughout central Illinois to cancel in-person events, which had led to a significant drop in community donations.
Mike Hutchinson, executive director of We Care of Morton, estimated that the group’s annual golf outing in June at the Pekin Country Club raises about $22,000.
Suburban Hospital Temporarily Pauses Vaccinations ‘Out of Abundance of Caution' Following Adverse Reactions
A suburban hospital temporarily suspended coronavirus vaccinations Friday after four team members experienced adverse reactions.
Since Thursday, Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville said four people who received the COVID-19 vaccine experienced tingling and elevated heartrate shortly after the injection.
"Out of an abundance of caution, we are temporarily pausing vaccinations at Condell, which will allow us time to better understand what may have caused these reactions," the health center said in a statement.