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Illinois, three neighbor states seek reserve vaccine distribution

Gov. JB Pritzker, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz and Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, demanding that the federal government begin distributing reserved COVID-19 vaccines to states immediately.

“In each of our states, vaccine delivery has been much slower than we anticipated, so it is imperative that the federal government distribute the vaccines it is holding on reserve. These vaccines will save millions of Americans from the unnecessary danger and hardship of contracting COVID-19,” said Pritzker. “Up to now, this vaccine has only been offered to a very specific group of people at very specific location. Our states are ready to work alongside the federal government to expand vaccine distribution so that we can protect the well-being of all our residents, families, small businesses and our economy.”

According to publicly reported information, the federal government currently has more than 50 percent of currently produced vaccines held back by the presidential administration for unknown reasons. At the same time, the country is losing over 2,600 Americans each day, according to the latest seven-day average.

Earlier this week, Pritzker announced guidelines for the next stage of COVID-19 vaccine distribution across Illinois, Phase 1B. Phase 1B prioritizes equity and lowers the vaccine age to 65 from 75 because black and brown Illinoisans with COVID-19 die at a much younger age than their white counterparts. Distribution of the reserved vaccines by the federal government would accelerate the completion of Phase 1A.

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