Delivery of vaccines to NorthShore University HealthSystem Photo from NorthShore University HealthSystem

Getting your Evanston news from Facebook? Try the Evanston RoundTable’s free daily and weekend email newsletters – sign up now!

NorthShore University HealthSystem received more than 5,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine on Dec. 17. Evanston Hospital was chosen for the inaugural “practice run” with 30 staff members vaccinated that afternoon. Vaccinations started at Glenbrook Hospital on Dec. 18 and continued through most of the day.

Early doses of the vaccine will be used for hospital workers caring for COVID-19 patients. 

CVS and Walgreens will begin vaccinating residents and staff of long-term care facilities such as nursing homes in late December. The City of Evanston is working with several providers to vaccinate paramedics.

The vaccines will be limited initially, but will increase over the coming weeks and months. Priority will be given to essential workers and those with higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19, according to City health officials.  

Suburban Cook County has identified several priority populations to receive the vaccine in Phase 1 (see below). It appears that Evanston, which has its own Health Department, is following a similar protocol. Rachel Rudin, M.D., M.P.H., Senior Medical Officer and Co-Lead Cook County Department of Public Health, said it will take four to five weeks to vaccinate hospital health-care workers.

Suburban Cook County Health Department Phase 1, Priority Groups

1a – Healthcare workers, beginning with hospital based, highest risk of exposure

1a – Long-term care facility (LTCF) staff and residents

1a – Unaffiliated health-care workers including EMS (Emergency Medical Service) personnel

1b – (ACIP* recommendations pending) Essential workers, including first responders, corrections officers, education sector, food and agriculture, utilities, transportation

1c – (ACIP* recommendations pending) High-risk adults 

*ACIP is the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices for the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

City Health Director stated vaccines will be available to the general public at designated vaccination sites in the months to come. Dates for subsequent distribution phases have not yet been determined.

Mr. Ogbo reminded residents, “Providing this safe, effective vaccine to all community members who wish to receive it will take months, not days, and it’s critical that we all continue to follow public health guidance, including practicing social distancing, wearing face coverings, and washing hands frequently, whether we’ve received the vaccine or not.”

The Pfizer vaccine, the first to be reviewed by the FDA, was granted Emergency Use Authorization on Dec. 11. It vaccine requires ultra-cold storage and two doses given three weeks apart.

The Moderna vaccine was approved by the FDA on Dec. 18. The Moderna vaccine can be stored in standard freezers and requires two doses given four weeks apart for full effectiveness. There are currently 63 vaccines in human trials, with 18 vaccines in Phase 3, large-scale trials testing safety and efficacy.

Video of Evanston Hospital Vaccinations Day 1, Thursday, Dec. 17

The first team member being cheered at the beginning of the video:  Kamal Singh, MD, Director, Microbiology & Infectious Diseases Research, NorthShore University HealthSystem

The female team member who the camera follows from registration to waiting in line to receiving the vaccine:  Raquel Delos Reyes, Patient Care Technician in the Glenbrook Hospital Intensive Care Unit

The last team member at the end of the video clip:  Neil Freedman, MD — head of Pulmonary, Critical Care, Allergy and Immunology, and VP, Acute and Post-Acute Care Integration for NorthShore University HealthSystem. To see the video click 

To see the video click  here