By CBS 2 Chicago Staff

CHICAGO (CBS) — After getting the Pfizer COVID vaccine earlier this week, another COVID drug will be coming to Illinois next week, the Moderna vaccine.

“Assuming a favorable outcome and based upon the federal government’s likely delivery schedule, Illinois hospitals can expect their Moderna shipments sometime early next week,” Pritzker said. “This is yet another very very exciting development, and they reinforces and it brightens the light at the end of the tunnel.”

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An advisory panel voted Thursday to recommend the Food and Drug Administration authorize Moderna’s vaccine for emergency use, as they did last week for Pfizer’s vaccine.

The governor said so far, 17,000 people outside Chicago have received the Pfizer COVID vaccine in the state.  He said the Moderna vaccine is 94% effective with people getting two doses two weeks apart. The Pfizer COVID vaccine is 95% effective.

Both the governor and Doctor Ngozi Ezike, head of the Illinois Department of Public Health, said that long term care facilities should expect to receive vaccines for its residents the week of December 28.

“The plans for our long term care facilities, we opted into the federal option to allow Illinois to be part of the pharmacy program, the Pharmacy Partnership Program, and by opting into that program that gave the CDC through this partnership with Walgreens and CVS, they will now be our surrogates for vaccinating our long term care residents,” Ezike said.

The doctor added “we understand from the federal government from the CVS, Walgreens groups that they will start that vaccination program, by the week of December 28.”

 

Because of high demand for the COVID vaccine, the doctor said she issued a proclamation modifying who can administer the shot. Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) will be part of the group allowed to give the vaccine.

“In simple terms, this will allow many EMTs to administer both flu vaccine and COVID-19 vaccine during this pandemic. As we move forward, instead of the current challenge of having enough vaccine, we hope that there’ll be so much vaccine available that we’ll need more healthcare workers to actually administer all of the vaccine.”

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Ezike said that despite that more people will be vaccinated in the future, this is not the time to let your guard down and disregard COVID restrictions.

“I know you’re tired of me saying it. I may be tiring in saying it as well, but it’s the right thing that we all have to do we need to avoid gatherings, wear our masks, wash our hands and maintain our distance,” Ezike said.

The doctor sought to combat conspiracy theories surrounding the ingredients of the COVID vaccines.

“There are no aborted fetal cells or fetal tissue in the vaccine. There are no microchips and there are no preservatives in this vaccine. There’s no DNA that’s in this. This is an mRNA vaccine. There is no virus in the vaccine either,” Ezike said.

Pritzker said he doesn’t have a definitive answer as to why Illinois and states across the country are going to get a smaller shipment of the COVID vaccine from the federal government than originally promised.

“The federal government has really been mum on this. But as you have seen over the last 48 hours governors, all across the nation, have come to terms with the idea of because they’ve been informed as I was that their vaccine distribution would be would be diminished by virtue of the deliveries, from the federal government being diminished. So, we still do not know exactly why no there’s a conversation going on,” Pritzker said.

The Illinois Department of Public Health on Friday reported 7,377 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19, as well as 181 additional deaths, the seventh most deaths reported in a single day. Over the past week, Illinois is averaging 138 deaths per day, compared to 111 per day during the peak of the first wave of the pandemic in mid-May.

Since the start of the pandemic, the Illinois Department of Public Health has reported a total of 886,805 coronavirus cases, including 15,015 deaths.

Pritzker said he will be cutting back on daily COVID updates, only appearing on an as-needed basis. But that he and Doctor Ezike will provide imperative information as it becomes available.

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From CBS Chicago:

CBS 2 Chicago Staff