This press release is courtesy of the DuPage County Health Department, dated December 18, 2020
DuPage County Health Department (DCHD) staff securely transported and delivered the first allotments of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to all DuPage County hospitals on Thursday, December 17, 2020. These initial vaccine shipments will serve to vaccinate and protect healthcare personnel in DuPage County.
“Throughout this pandemic, our healthcare workers have selflessly put their health and wellbeing on the line every day to care for their patients. We are grateful for their commitment and dedication to helping our residents. This vaccine now offers us a way to give back to them, by providing them with additional protection as we move forward,” said Karen Ayala, Executive Director of DuPage County Health Department.
Following receipt of vaccine, hospital-based frontline health care workers were the first to roll-up their sleeves to receive their first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in DuPage County. The vaccine is given in two doses, three weeks apart, and offers up to 95% protection against COVID-19. On day one, about 23% of the vaccine allocations were administered by the DuPage County health system partners. All of the hospital systems plan to administer their full allotment of vaccine by Monday, Dec. 21, 2020. DCHD anticipates it will take several weeks to reach the estimated 43,000 health care personnel throughout the county. Long-term care facilities will receive vaccinations through a Federal program, called the Pharmacy Partnership Program.
Additional vaccine is expected to arrive weekly, in the weeks and months ahead. DCHD is prepared to receive and distribute allocations to the local health systems. Additionally, plans are being finalized for DCHD to provide vaccination to healthcare personnel not affiliated with health systems and to other individuals in priority groups when more vaccine becomes available.
“As we begin the largest vaccination effort in our history, we are appreciative of our successful collaboration with local health care partners. Together, we are working to find innovative ways to engage and educate the public about the safety and importance of this vaccine. We know this vaccine can help save lives and eliminate this virus, but we must bring people on board,” said Ayala.
Timeline estimates to reach the various priority groups in Phase 1 are expected to change as additional quantities and other types of vaccine are made available. In the meantime, people have the opportunity to sign-up to receive weekly updates on vaccine planning in DuPage County at www.dupagehealth.org/covid19vaccine. This will allow the Health Department to reach back out to individuals/organizations when it is time for their vaccinations to be provided.
Importantly, residents are urged to continue to do their part in preventing the spread of COVID-19 by:
- Wearing a mask whenever outside your home or with anyone not from your household;
- Watching your distance, staying at least 6 feet from people outside of your immediate household and avoiding in-person gatherings;
- Washing your hands often; and
- Staying home if you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or if you have been in close contact with a person infected with COVID-19, and contacting your healthcare provider for appropriate evaluation, testing, and care.
Additional COVID-19 information and resources can be found at www.dupagehealth.org/covid19.