Nine rural Illinois hospitals will receive additional COVID vaccine doses from the state as part of a new program aimed at expanding equitable distribution, according to officials.
On Thursday, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Public Health announced the nine rural critical access hospitals that were selected as part of the Safety Net Direct Vaccine Allocation Pilot Program that will provide hundreds of doses to each site per week.
“I’m proud that we’re expanding this important program with a special focus on rural communities,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “Adding nine critical access hospitals across Illinois, to begin receiving additional vaccine allocations, is a continuation of our mission to meet communities where they already are. Rural communities deserve the same protections from this virus that suburban and urban communities get.”
The state will provide a total of nearly 6,000 doses of the vaccine to the nine hospitals in addition to the existing allocations that the state already is distributing to health care sites.
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“Our critical access hospitals have been key partners throughout this pandemic – helping care for our communities and now helping get vaccines to our citizens,” said Rep. Avery Bourne (R-Litchfield). “Broader vaccine availability and distribution in our rural areas is good news as we work to fully reopen our state.”
The effort marks the next phase of the vaccine pilot program that was announced last week in which five health centers and four hospitals received vaccine supply from the federal government.
The nine hospitals include:
- Taylorville Memorial Hospital, Christian County
- Gibson Area Hospital and Health Services, Ford County
- Hamilton Memorial Hospital District, Hamilton County
- Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital, Logan County
- Genesis Medical Center Aledo, Mercer County
- Hillsboro Area Hospital, Montgomery County
- Hopedale Medical Complex, Tazewell County
- Carle Hoopeston Regional Health Center, Vermilion County
- Fairfield Memorial Hospital, Wayne County