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Illinois COVID-19 Vaccination Update

Outreach to local health departments will raise awareness to our status in the 1a phase and develop plans of how oral health providers will receive the vaccine. With this local outreach being instrumental to our plan, we will be contacting our ISDS component leaders with more information. Once this has been accomplished, we will send a follow up to our membership as soon as possible.

In an email communication distributed to members last week, ISDS shared the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH)’s Mass Vaccination Plan, which was designed to assist local health departments in planning for vaccine distribution and administration.  Governor Pritzker has previously indicated that each of the 96 county public health departments would be required to submit a plan for approval by IDPH that conforms with state parameters.  “Then they’re responsible for distributing the vaccine to the providers that will administer it to the communities that are in each phase as it's laid out,” Pritzker said. “That's the most important thing.”1  

In the IDPH Mass Vaccination Plan released over a week ago, it is and was noted that “Local Health Departments should reach out to these groups now to determine the number, type, and location of each priority group in the public health jurisdiction.”2  With a rising number of member inquiries on where and how to obtain the vaccine, it is evident that this outreach was performed inconsistently across the state by local health departments.

There has not been an established timetable for when the Phase 1a group will be vaccinated with the first or second dose of the vaccine.  On December 4th, Governor Pritzker is quoted in his daily COVID-19 briefing as saying “Some quick math will tell you that it’s going to take multiple weeks of distribution to even get our health care workers their first of the two doses that they require, while also getting to the long-term care facility residents.”1

At this point, here’s what we do know:

  • Dentists, hygienists, and most dental assistants are included the Phase 1a group to receive the vaccine, which is the first priority group
  • There are approximately 750,000 total individuals included in the Phase 1a group
  • Vaccine supply is and will be constrained until production ramps up
  • Early shipments of the vaccine will be prioritized to the 50 Illinois counties with the highest death rates per capita.  A list of these counties is available here.
  • Due to its size, Chicago is one of five local health departments nationally that will receive direct shipment of the vaccine from the federal government, independent of the state of Illinois Mass Vaccination Plan. 
  • The Chicago Department of Public Health is making vaccination plans for the staff of clinics and facilities not associated with a hospital or health system who work within the City of Chicago.  If you have not already completed a survey shared previously by the Chicago Dental Society on behalf of the Chicago Department of Public Health, please do so now by clicking here.

Here’s what we do not fully know at this point:

  • Intricate detail on how each of the 96 local health departments specifically intend to administer the vaccine to oral health providers.  Each will be setting their own criteria, process, location, etc... for oral health providers to receive the vaccine.

This is where our local dental societies will come into action.  Outreach to local health departments will raise awareness to our status in the 1a phase and develop plans of how oral health providers will receive the vaccine. With this local outreach being instrumental to our plan, we will be contacting our ISDS component leaders with more informationOnce this has been accomplished, we will send a follow up to our membership as soon as possible.  

Chicago Dental Society staff has been in active communication with Cook, Lake, and DuPage counties, as well as the City of Chicago, and information will be shared out as available. 

Helpful Links and Sources:

1 https://www.pjstar.com/story/news/2020/12/06/these-50-illinois-counties-first-get-covid-19-vaccines/3843790001/

2 https://www.dph.illinois.gov/sites/default/files/COVID19/IL%20COVID-19%20Vaccination%20Plan%20V%203.0%2012.5.20%20.pdf

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