Coronavirus in Illinois updates: State expects to get 109,000 vaccination doses initially, enough for 54,500 people

Friday is the deadline for states to submit their vaccination rollout plans to the federal government.

With vaccines developed by Pfizer and Moderna close to U.S. regulatory approval, Gov. J.B. Pritzker said the state is expecting doses of the vaccine to begin arriving in Illinois as early as Dec. 13.

Pritzker said the latest report is that Illinois will receive 109,000 doses initially. That’s enough for 54,500 people — the process requires two shots, the second coming three to four weeks after the first.

The state’s vaccination plan follows federal guidelines in terms of priority of recipients. First in line, not surprisingly, are health care workers, residents and staff members of long-term care facilities, and members of the workforce who perform “essential functions.”

On Thursday, Illinois public health officials reported 10,959 newly confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Thursday and a second consecutive day of near-record deaths.

The 192 fatalities from COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus, matched the toll from May 13, at the height of the initial wave of the disease in Illinois. Illinois has now reported 12,830 deaths among 759,562 coronavirus infections.

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Here’s what’s happening Friday with COVID-19 in the Chicago area and Illinois:

‘I think it’s time to get moving.’ Experts call for COVID-19 vaccination trials to begin for young children.

For more than half his life, Alexandra Haake Kamberos’ 18-month-old son has lived under quarantine conditions.

As a result, otherwise normal occurrences, like indoor playdates and trips to the grocery store, aren’t a regular part of the Chicago boy’s life right now, his mother said.

While people around the world wait for the authorization and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines that will eventually allow for a return to normal life, young children may have to wait longer. That is spurring an urgent cry from pediatricians to include these children in trials to reduce their delay in becoming vaccinated.

Children under 12 years old have not been part of the U.S. trials for vaccines that are showing promising results for inoculating people against the virus, which has infected more than 759,000 people in Illinois and killed more than 12,000 statewide since March.

That means that vaccines will likely be available for the general population of adults months before they are available for children because the trials need to be replicated with children as the test subjects, experts said. Read more here. -- Madeline Buckley

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