Some medical workers in the state of Illinois are already getting their coronavirus vaccines, and by the end of the month, health officials are hoping that long-term care facility residents and workers will be able to get theirs as well.
During a coronavirus press briefing on Wednesday, IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike laid out some of the details of the program, which aims to get coronavirus vaccine shots to long-term care facilities beginning the week of Dec. 28.
According to Ezike, the shots will be administered by employees from CVS and Walgreens pharmacies as part of a partnership with the federal government, a program that is filling workers at the homes with optimism and happiness.
“It absolutely will put my mind at ease,” Chicago nursing home employee Rosalind Reggans said. “Given my age and the fact that I’m a cancer survivor of three years, it would totally put my mind at ease.”
Vaccines will not be mandatory in many facilities, but they are strongly encouraged as a tool to help residents resume social visits with family and friends.
According to officials at Burgess Square Healthcare in suburban Westmont, residents who have been vaccinated can go outside to meet family members and friends, so long as face coverings are worn.
Eventually, the hope is that enough state residents will be vaccinated to achieve so-called “herd immunity,” allowing for mask mandates, social distancing protocols and other mitigation measures to be rolled back and ultimately eliminated.