SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Illinois now has more supply than demand for COVID-19 vaccines. However, the state is launching a new effort to fire shots directly at workers.
Gov. JB Pritzker said many people may have the option of receiving vaccines at work. Commercial offices in Chicago and other business districts across the state will have vaccination clinics as more people return to work in person.
The governor also says it can help many people who have continued to work there throughout the pandemic. This includes janitors, security, engineers, and office staff, among others. Pritzker says the availability of vaccines in the workplace makes the process very convenient. In fact, Buildings in Chicago, Schaumburg, and Rockford are starting the effort this week.
“If more property owners and managers across Illinois want to host similar events, the state of Illinois is here to help,” said Pritzker. “With a critical mass of people who need to be vaccinated, we will provide you with the staff, supplies and vaccine to make it happen.”
The Illinois Department of Public Health has partnered with Walgreens for this initiative. Pritzker says vaccination clinics will be held during shift changes to help even more employees take advantage of the opportunity.
“We’ve been planning this for some time now. You can see it takes a lot of partnership, can’t you, ”Pritzker said. “Walgreens and SEIU and BOMA [Building Owners and Managers Association] and the city and state are all working together to make it very convenient for people who might not have been able to get vaccinated otherwise. “
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Public health director Ngozi Ezike said people concerned about safety or vaccines should speak to their doctor.
“We understand this is a personal decision,” Ezike said. “But we want to make sure people have the right facts to make the decision for themselves, their families and their communities. The fastest way to get life back to normal is to get more people vaccinated. “
The IDPH can also help community groups, churches and nonprofit organizations with mobile vaccination clinics. Ezike explained that organizations can register to host free immunization events with staff and supplies provided by the department.
The IDPH has completed 130 community vaccination clinics of which more than 120 are planned for the coming weeks. Local leaders can complete an interest in vaccine opportunity form by clicking here.
Meanwhile, Pritzker explained that Illinois would reduce the amount of vaccines entering the state due to declining demand. He says additional doses may still be available from federal stockpile if the state requests more.