Dec. 17, 2020 – The Oak Park Department of Public Health received its first shipment of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine today.
The initial allotment of 600-plus doses was distributed to Rush Oak Park Hospital and West Suburban Medical Center, per state and federal recommendations.
The first group to receive the vaccine is healthcare workers and those serving in healthcare facility settings who are at an increased risk of exposure. Distribution to the hospitals will continue over the next few weeks, depending on supply.
“The arrival of a COVID-19 vaccine in Oak Park is something we have been preparing for since August,” Interim Public Health Director Joseph Terry said. “We hope this marks a turning point in our community’s efforts to slow the spread of the virus.”
Acknowledging that much work remains to be done, Terry said he was grateful for all of the Village staff involved in the security, movement and logistics behind local vaccine distribution, and for the staff at Oak Park’s two hospitals for their help coordinating this initial delivery.
“We look forward to increased shipments and increased vaccinations in the coming days and weeks,” he said.
Vaccinations for all hospital healthcare workers, Oak Park paramedics and residents at long-term care facilities are anticipated to take several weeks. CVS and Walgreen’s drug stores are coordinating long-term care facility vaccinations under a national program expected to start later this month.
The Oak Park Department of Public Health will provide more information on the process and anticipated availability of vaccinations for the general public in January when more details about the supply are expected.
The Health Department currently is not accepting vaccination appointments.
More information about plans for distributing COVID-19 vaccine in Oak Park is available at www.oak-park.us/covidvaccination.
Even as optimism rises with the arrival of initial supplies of COVID-19 vaccine, public health officials say mitigation measures such as wearing masks, social distancing and frequent hand washing will continue to be essential for all residents well into the foreseeable future.
Residents are urged to continue practicing the 3 W's: Wear a mask, Watch your distance and Wash your hands. A person can be carrying the virus and not know it. Masking and physical distancing help prevent germs from spreading if someone talks, coughs or sneezes.
For the latest information about ways to protect yourself and others from COVID-19, visit www.cdc.gov/coronavirus.
As part of its normal responsibilities as a state-certified municipal health department, the Oak Park Department of Public Health develops and executes plans and for mass-vaccination as well as distribution of other items received through the federal and state strategic national stockpile program such as personal protective equipment.
For additional information and current updates on the COVID-19 situation, visit www.oak-park.us/covid19, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 708.358.5480.
Interim Oak Park Public Health Director Joseph Terry
delivers the first shipment of COVID-19 vaccine.