The DuPage County Health Department is expecting a smaller supply of COVID-19 vaccines for first doses for the next three weeks.
The county has recently received an average of about 14,000 doses per week, but will get only 2,450 this week. The county’s press release did not indicate why vaccines will be in such short supply, but did state the health department expects vaccine availability to “catch up over the next few weeks.”
Until that time, DuPage County will not expand the Phase 1b vaccination group to individuals 16-64 years old with comorbidities and underlying conditions, as well as those with disabilities, as was announced by Governor J.B. Pritzker last week.
DCHD will focus on administering second doses of the vaccine until supply increases.
“Insufficient and Unpredictable Supply”
“We, too, are frustrated with the insufficient and unpredictable supply our county is receiving. Particularly, since we have established a strong network of community partners with the capacity to currently vaccinate at least 50,000 people per week, yet we are receiving 5% of this capacity next week,” said Karen Ayala, Executive Director of DuPage County Health Department. “We are hopeful that more vaccine will be available in the next several weeks, so we will continue to expand our network and be prepared to get the vaccine into people’s arms as quickly as possible once it is available.”
Anyone who lives or works in DuPage County is able to register online to receive updates on when a COVID-19 vaccine will be made available to them. Appointment notifications will be sent first to those in higher priority groups.
DuPage County also confirmed its first case of the B.1.1.7 COVID-19 variant, which was originally discovered in the U.K. The COVID-19 vaccines being administered are believed to be fully effective against that variant, but B.1.1.7 is more transmissible than the strain the U.S. has seen throughout the pandemic.
“Given these emerging variants alongside ongoing vaccination efforts, supply remains the single greatest challenge in not being able to swiftly vaccinate more people in DuPage County,” said Ayala.
Vaccination So Far
To date, DuPage County has administered almost 138,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine, behind only Chicago and Cook County. The 3.88% full vaccination rate is the highest of the collar counties. The health department believes it could vaccinate more than 53,000 doses of vaccine per week if fully supplied.
Naperville News 17’s Casey Krajewski reports.
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