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Dr. Ezike: Illinois to receive roughly 400,000 doses of first distribution of COVID-19 vaccine

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CHICAGO (WREX) — One of Illinois' top doctors shed light on how many doses of a potential COVID-19 vaccine the state will receive right away.

Dr. Ngozi Ezike, the Director of the Illinois Department of Public Health, says the state will be receiving roughly 400,000 doses of the first COVID-19 vaccine distribution.

Dr. Ezike says the state is still identifying how to distribute the doses of vaccine once the state receives it. The state has previously said health care workers and first responders will be among the first to receive the vaccine.

Earlier on Friday, Pfizer announced they're moving to submit their emergency use application for a COVID-19 vaccine to the FDA. This process can take anywhere from 2-4 weeks.

Dr. Ezike says Pfizer's vaccine is the one that needs ultra-cold storage. The state is planning where it has that storage, according to Dr. Ezike. The doctor did say the state has ordered 20 contraptions that can hold vaccines at the required temperature.

When asked if residents should be considered about a rush, Dr. Ezike says the circumstances are not normal and proper precautions will still be taken to ensure safety.

"I think everybody understands the reason why it was rushed," said Dr. Ezike. "Everyone involved with the FDA is going to be taking the utmost precaution as they're reviewing the application."

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Andrew Carrigan

Andy Carrigan is the Social Media & Digital Content Manager at WREX. He joined the 13 WREX team as a photographer in 2016 after graduating from Northern Illinois University. He also been a producer and Assignment Editor at the station.

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