Illinois' 10 Regional Hospital Coordinating Centers will serve as distribution centers for the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, officials said Friday.
The 50 counties with the highest death rates per capita will be the first to receive the vaccine, Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced Friday as Illinois reported 10,526 newly confirmed cases of the coronavirus.
Officials are expecting an opening shipment of 109,000 vaccine doses as early as mid-month.
Illinois is following federal guidelines for distributing the vaccine, with health professionals and nursing home residents part of what’s called Phase 1a.
“Some quick math will tell you that it’s going to take multiple weeks of distribution to even get our health care workers their first of the two doses that they require, while also getting to the long-term care facility residents," Pritzker said.
Dr. Ngozi Ezike, the director of the Illinois Department of Public Health, said the first shipment of vaccines will be received by the IDPH directly from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The state agency has 20 ultra-cold freezers to house the doses, the doctor added.
The doses will be sent to the Regional Hospital Coordinating Centers, and from there will be distributed to the 50 counties with the highest death rates per capita.
The counties' health departments will receive the vaccine from the designated hospitals, Ezike said.
Major cities, such as Chicago, Los Angeles and New York, the governor stated, will each receive a separate, direct supply of the vaccine. Distribution in Chicago will be coordinated with the rest of Illinois.
Illinois' Regional Hospital Coordinating Centers are listed below:
- Region 1 - Rockford Memorial Hospital - Rockford
- Region 2 - OSF St. Francis Medical Center - Peoria
- Region 3 - St. John's Hospital - Springfield
- Region 4 - Memorial Hospital - Belleville
- Region 5 - SIH Memorial Hospital of Carbondale - Carbondale
- Region 6 - Carle Foundation Hospital - Urbana
- Region 7 - Advocate Christ Medical Center - Oak Lawn
- Region 8 - Loyola University Medical Center - Maywood
- Region 9 - Advocate Sherman Medical Center - Elgin
- Region 10 - Northshore Highland Park Hospital - Highland Park