News: Vaccine Updates

The vaccines are here!!  Of course, it is not that simple.  We wanted outline for you what we know and what we anticipate will be the process for getting you vaccinated.
There continues to be 2 approved vaccinations against the COVID 19 virus:

                Pfizer – 2 injections spaced 3 weeks apart.
                Moderna – 2 injections spaced 4 weeks apart.
Important facts about the vaccines:

  1. Both of these vaccines have equivalent effectiveness.
  2. You should take the first one available to you.
  3. The federal government has paid for them, there is no cost to you.
  4. You need to get both doses from the same manufacturer.
  5. If your second shot is delayed by up to 2-3 weeks, it PROBABLY will not reduce the effectiveness.

All of the vaccine is being managed by the large hospital systems and the county health departments.  Large pharmacies and other agencies are starting to be recruited to administer some of the injections.
We are just entering into group 1b.  This includes people 65 and older as well as non-healthcare essential frontline workers.  Group 1a totals approximately 800,000 people and 1b totals an additional 3.2 million people in the state of Illinois.  There will be a bottle neck in getting 4 million people vaccinated in these 2 groups for the following reasons:

  1. The cold chain storage of both vaccines limits its distribution.
  2. Getting 8 million doses from the federal government will take time.
  3. Recruiting people to administer the injections has limitations.
  4. This list does not include younger people with preexisting conditions as well as younger people who are otherwise healthy.

How will I get my vaccine?

  1.  It is going to take some time.  We need to be prepared to wait.
  2. Northwestern and North Shore are using their computer system to reach patients to assign them time slots.  They will not accept inquiries or requests.
  3. You need to register with your county health departments at the links below:
    1. Lake county:
    2. Cook County:
    3.  Forward Focus has submitted an application to be a provider but we don’t anticipate hearing about this for weeks.
    4. We anticipate more places will be helping with vaccine distribution in the coming weeks.  Keep your eyes open for access through the large pharmacies, professional associations, faith based organizations or other community volunteer health clinics.
  1. Finally, other vaccines are close to being approved.  Specifically, Johnson & Johnson is close to entering the approval process.  This will be a single injection that does not require freezing.  The distribution will be much wider and easier. 

In summary, this is the beginning of the vaccination process.  It is going to take some time. There is reason to be optimistic.  Infection rates in our area are on the decline.  With continued careful behavior by wearing masks and social distancing, combined with increasing vaccine availability over time, we should be in a much better place this summer. 
We will continue to monitor the situation and forward any information that is beneficial in expediting getting you vaccinated.

January 25, 2021