CU health district vaccinations outpace state supply

A+Champaign+County+resident+receives+the+Moderna+COVID-19+vaccine+on+Jan.+12+at+the+I-Hotel.+Champaign+County+is+currently+receiving+a+minimum+of+4%2C000+to+6%2C000+vaccines+per+week.

Ryan Ash

A Champaign County resident receives the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine on Jan. 12 at the I-Hotel. Champaign County is currently receiving a minimum of 4,000 to 6,000 vaccines per week.

By Amrita Bhattacharyya, Staff Writer

As the news broke that there is no federal stockpile of COVID-19 vaccines as previously stated by the federal government, some states scrambled after learning that their supply would lessen. However, Champaign County has not yet felt the effects.

“We have not seen an impact locally out here because we still are receiving vaccines from the state, and the state has committed to providing us a minimum number of vaccines every week,” said Awais Vaid, deputy administrator of the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District. “So, that number has not changed since the news came out.” 

The amount of vaccines received is allocated according to population size, with Champaign County receiving a minimum of 4,000 to 6,000 vaccines per week.

According to Vaid, C-U has the capacity to administer 20,000 vaccine doses a week. At full supply, CUPHD could vaccinate almost the entire community within four to six weeks.

However, with the current number of doses that Champaign County is receiving, Vaid says it will take around four to six months.

“The question out here is not if we can get them vaccinated, it’s can we get the vaccines,” Vaid said.

The CUPHD typically gets vaccine allocations every Monday or Tuesday for the following week, giving them a little less than a week to plan their vaccine distributions.

According to Vaid, there is no “set formula” to decide the number of vaccines each vaccination clinic gets from the CUPHD. Rather, the amount given depends on the provider’s capacity to administer vaccines, as well as how many CUPHD receives in the first place.

The CUPHD has been working in partnership with Carle Health, OSF HealthCare, Christie Clinic, Promise Healthcare and the University to administer vaccines.

“OSF HealthCare continues to collaborate with local health departments within the mass vaccination plan. As we receive doses to administer from the state and/or county, we will make sure those who are outlined to receive the vaccine do,” Shelli Dankoff, media relations supervisor for OSF HealthCare, wrote in an email.

As of Jan. 25, 1.35% of the vaccine eligible population in Champaign County has been fully vaccinated. After the current vaccine Phase 1B is completed, people aged 16 to 64 years old with underlying health conditions will be able to get vaccinated.

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