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Gov. Pritzker Addresses Problems With COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout

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CBS 2 Political Investigator Dana Kozlov sat down with Gov. JB Pritzker on Monday to talk about the state of the pandemic in Illinois today. Kozlov only had 10 minutes with the governor, so she wanted to be sure to address the vaccine rollout.

Video Transcript

- Now to the coronavirus. Illinois reporting just under 782 new cases. That's the fewest since mid-July. Another positive sign, the number of vaccines continue to rise. The average is now more than 102,000 doses delivered a day. Despite those numbers, it's still not easy to get a vaccine. CBS 2 political investigator Dana Kozlov joins us live. Dana, you went right to the top, to Governor JB Pritzker for answers.

DANA KOZLOV: Yeah, Brad, I was given 10 minutes with the governor today, so the subjects and questions I wanted to tackle were limited. So my first focus was, indeed, the state's vaccination rollout.

- Right this way, folks.

DANA KOZLOV: 4.1 million COVID vaccination doses administered in Illinois to date, an impressive number. But we're still hearing from dozens of people eligible for a dose now still desperate to find appointments.

Do you feel that the state could have or still could do something to make this process easier?

JB PRITZKER: There's a nationwide shortage of vaccine. And so when we know we have an awful lot of demand and limited supply, it is very difficult to match supply and demand.

DANA KOZLOV: We've heard Governor JB Pritzker say this before. But a supply and demand issue isn't the only vaccine roadblock. Eligible people can't get it, while some not yet eligible folks can.

In retrospect, could the state have done something in advance, created a centralized registry, done something to help streamline this process instead of having it be, like I said, what some consider to be a free for all?

JB PRITZKER: I'm sure that if you went back years, that you could have changed the way the public health system in the state of Illinois operates. But it's a decentralized public health system.

DANA KOZLOV: The United Center vaccination site is one example of a good plan gone awry. Initially, it was open to anyone in the state, then later limited to city and Cook County residents. So what does Governor Pritzker say to those still scrambling to get vaccinated?

JB PRITZKER: We all need to have some patience.

DANA KOZLOV: You're happy with the way the state of Illinois and all of its vaccine partners, if you will, are handling the vaccine distribution thus far.

JB PRITZKER: Again, we have a lot of partners across the state. Some are operating at different levels of capability. And we've had to augment that capability wherever we could using our Illinois National Guard, who've been just amazing. And the result of that is that things are better than they would be if we weren't on top of that. But it's not perfect. There's no doubt about it.

DANA KOZLOV: Governor Pritzker says he still has yet to receive his vaccination. He says he is waiting until his group becomes eligible. He says to do the right thing. Live in the streetside studio, Dana Kozlov, CBS 2 News.