ILLINOIS — When the federal government approves a COVID-19 vaccine, Illinois residents will likely have to wait for their shot.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Wednesday that public health officials and researchers in Illinois will independently verify any potential vaccine approved by federal agencies that have been “completely politicized” under President Donald Trump.
That independent verification will include a number of trials across demographics “to ensure that whatever it is that we distribute in the state will be safe,” Pritzker said.
“We’ve seen that the FDA, the CDC and the federal government has been completely politicized when it comes to COVID-19,” Pritzker said to explain why the state plans to run independent tests on potential vaccines.
“Having said that, I do think that the companies that are trying to develop the vaccines are following the normal course of trials … to do the right thing,” Pritzker said.
Illinois’ plan to run vaccine trials are “obviously a direct result of the concerns that are raised by President Trump’s behavior and his pronunciations” about when a vaccine will be available, Pritzker said.
Trump said last month the U.S. would produce enough vaccines for every American by April, but Pritzker set no timetable Wednesday for a vaccine.
“That’s just not how it works,” Pritzker said. “You don’t set a date for a vaccine delivery.”
“Let me be clear: Illinois will not distribute a vaccine until we have one that is proven safe and effective,” the governor said.