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UPDATE: State: Winnebago County missed vaccine shipment because it didn’t place an order

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Dr. Martell
Dr. Sandra Martell speaks during a press conference regarding coronavirus vaccinations on Feb. 10, 2021.

UPDATE: WINNEBAGO COUNTY (WREX) — The Winnebago County Health Department said Wednesday that it missed out on a shipment of vaccines and didn't know why, but according to the Illinois Department of Public Health, it's because the county never placed an order.

The announcement form the health department came during its weekly COVID-19 news briefing. When asked why the county didn't receive the shipment, the health department said, "They did not provide a reason, we just said 'How can you get us more vaccine?'"

13 WREX reached out to Governor JB Pritzker's office, which said according to IDPH, the health department never placed an order for the Moderna vaccine. IDPH uses an online survey portal for every health department to place vaccine orders. Each time there is an order, health departments receive confirmation.

Winnebago County Public Health Administrator Dr. Sandra Martell said that the health department expected 5,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine this week. However, according to state officials, the county is only entitled to 500 doses of the Moderna vaccine and 2,925 doses of the Pfizer vaccine. The county said it received the correct shipment of Pfizer vaccines for this week.

According to the state, the health department can still submit an order for Moderna by 11 a.m. Thursday and it should arrive by Friday pending weather conditions. The state is also working to see if it can backfill Winnebago County's doses so it does not have to cancel any vaccine appointments.

13 WREX reached out to the Winnebago County Health Department, which says it already resubmitted the order to receive the Moderna vaccine doses.

"The Winnebago County Health Department appreciates the advocacy from our community including the media, elected officials, and others regarding the shortage of Moderna vaccine for the week," Dr. Sandra Martell said in a statement. "We have been in contact with the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and have resubmitted the order for Moderna as advised by IDPH. They will ship the vaccine when it becomes available. The Pfizer order for the week had been received as shared at the press briefing. We will provide an update when the Moderna vaccine order is received."

13 WREX has reached out for clarification from the health department about who is responsible along with if and how the order was not placed for the vaccine.


ROCKFORD (WREX) — If you were scheduled to receive the coronavirus vaccine this week, you may have to wait a little bit longer.

On Wednesday, Dr. Sandra Martell, the Public Administrator with the Winnebago County Health Department, announced the county did not receive its weekly allotment of the Moderna vaccine from the state.

READ MORE: Illinois to expand Phase 1B of vaccinations; includes more underlying conditions, pregnancy, obesity

Dr. Martell says on average, the county receives 5,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine that is used at off-site locations.

When asked why the county didn't receive their regular allotment of the vaccine, Dr. Martell says the state did not provide a reason. The county did receive their regular shipment of the Pfizer vaccine, which is roughly 3,000 doses.

Dr. Martell says she's concerned after not receiving the allotment because there was already a lack of the vaccine.

RELATED: Check out 13 WREX's coronavirus vaccine resources page

"Well I think we're concerned in Phase 1B to begin with that we don't have enough," Dr. Martell said.

So what does not receiving the regular allotment mean?

Those who were scheduled to receive their vaccine this week have had their appointment rescheduled.

The announcement comes the same day as the state announced its plan to expand those eligible to receive the vaccine in Phase 1B.

The governor's office announced people who have comorbidities and underlying conditions as defined by the CDC will be eligible to receive the vaccine.

In addition, Illinois will also prioritize individuals with disabilities.

This list is subject to change as guidance evolves and does not reflect an order of priority:

  • Cancer
  • Chronic Kidney Disease
  • COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)
  • Diabetes
  • Heart Condition
  • Immunocompromised State from a Solid Organ Transplant
  • Obesity
  • Pregnancy
  • Pulmonary Disease
  • Sickle Cell Disease

Dr. Martell says the most common morbidity in Winnebago County is obesity. We asked Dr. Martell during a press conference on Wednesday about who or what defines obesity.

Dr. Martell said obesity, along with every other comorbidity, is up to each patient to report.

"You're putting in your own information and you're attesting to it.
Right? So we're not asking you to produce proof that you're obese or proof of where you work or what you do. Obviously in your work site. But it's an honor system, right?" Dr. Martell said.

Dr. Martell says there's more than 60,000 people who have already registered to receive the vaccine in Winnebago County.

Coronavirus Resources

  • Click here for the latest CDC novel coronavirus resources and links.
  • Track the COVID-19 globally using this map tracker here.
  • Click here for the latest information from the Illinois Department of Public Health.
  • Need to get tested? Here's a list of mobile testing sites provided by the state.
  • Looking for more information on the COVID-19 vaccine? Click here.
  • You can get the latest coverage from 13 WREX here.
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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.

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