DANVILLE — Vermilion County’s long-awaited first COVID-19 vaccine shipment arrived last week, according to the county’s Public Health Department Administrator Doug Toole.
The county received 1,400 doses of Moderna vaccine in this first shipment — 500 of which were being sent directly to OSF Sacred Heart Medical Center, Danville. The rest includes 400 doses being shipped directly to Carle Hoopeston Regional Health Center and 500 doses sent directly to the health department.
The health department’s vaccine arrived Dec. 30, Toole said.
OSF Sacred Heart quickly put its own vaccine doses to use.
OSF spokesman Curtis Squires said the hospital began vaccinating its staff members in direct patient care positions Wednesday afternoon.
Toole said he didn’t know why other counties had received their COVID-19 vaccine before Vermilion County.
“I’m just glad to have it,” he said.
The health department plans to distribute its 500 doses to medical clinicians, paramedics, firefighters, emergency medical technicians and dentists next week, Toole said.
“We will see how much interest there is at that level,” he said.
With whatever vaccine remains, he said, the health department would begin moving down the chain for vaccinating people in other high-priority categories, such as medical staff members who aren’t in direct contact with patients, Toole said.
“When we are able to begin vaccinating critical infrastructure workers, those with underlying health concerns, seniors and the general public will depend on how often we receive shipments of vaccine, how much vaccine is provided in those shipments and how many health-care workers and first responders want to receive the vaccine in January,” he said.