Illinois is diverting 97,000 unused doses of coronavirus vaccines away from a federal partnership with pharmacies that is overseeing vaccinations in nursing homes and making those shots available to people 65 and older and front-line essential workers, state health officials announced Wednesday.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker and officials in other states have criticized the federal partnership with Walgreens and CVS for moving too slowly in vaccinating residents and staff and nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. The federal vaccination program in Illinois is part of a nationwide effort.
However, the Democratic governor recently said the pharmacy companies had provided assurances to the state that the first round of vaccinations at assisted living facilities would be completed by Feb. 15.
As of Tuesday, the federal government had allocated 496,100 of Illinois’ vaccine doses — about one-quarter of the state’s total — to the pharmacy program, but only 175,900 doses had been administered.
Walgreens pharmacist Marina Gockman preps a dose of COVID-19 vaccine at Plymouth Place in La Grange Park on Jan. 16, 2021.
* Insurance Business Magazine…
The owner of a Chicago hotel has filed a lawsuit against Zurich American Insurance Company, accusing the insurer of wrongful and bad faith denial of insurance coverage.
The lawsuit, filed in the Circuit Court of Cook County by operator ECD-Great-Street DE, claimed that Zurich denied its claims related to the physical damage and extended closure of theWit hotel resulting from the events of civil unrest that occurred in Chicago on May 30, 2020.
As a result of the damage, theWit hotel – along with its in-house bar ROOF and restaurant State & Lake – were forced to shut down for the entire summer and early fall. Both periods, the operator claimed, were peak seasons for business. The hotel later reopened in October.
The lawsuit also cited Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker’s statement on June 08, 2020 that “insurance companies must do everything in their power and are obligated to give their customers the funds they need to rebuild and get back on their feet as soon as possible.” On that same day, the Illinois Department of Insurance issued Company Bulletin 2020-15, which directed (among other requirements) all insurers licensed to transact insurance business in the State of Illinois to “base payouts” of business interruption claims related to damage caused by the civil unrest “on business activity levels that eliminate the impact of COVID-19.”
* Press release…
In light of reports showing familiar disparities in ongoing COVID-19 vaccination efforts between Chicago’s well-to-do communities and majority-minority communities, State Senator Jacqueline Collins called on Gov. Pritzker Monday to focus resources on the same neighborhoods that are suffering from the highest rates of infection and death but are to date seeing the slowest rollout of the vaccines.
“When the pandemic began, we saw disparities in infections and deaths,” Collins said. “As it continued, we saw disparities in testing and care. Now, we are seeing disparities in reaching the light at the end of the tunnel. These disparities are literally killing us. I am calling on Gov. Pritzker to interrogate the reasons that the most affluent North Side ZIP codes are seeing such success in vaccination while impoverished communities like mine are struggling, even as we’re seeing the worst rates of spread. And I am calling on him to do something about it.”
Because of federal government rules, the City of Chicago and the Chicago Department of Public Health are a separate entity from the State of Illinois and are solely responsible for vaccine programs and their locations in the city. The state health department works in close coordination with the city, but the Pritzker Administration cannot direct how doses are distributed and used within the City of Chicago. In addition, the limited number of doses the state of Illinois receives are required to be used in areas outside the City of Chicago.
* Press release…
The Affordable Assisted Living Coalition (AALC) today launched its “Let’s Get Vaccinated - Together We Can Do It” campaign to urge Illinois’ Supportive Living staff members to get vaccinated for COVID-19. Supportive Living residents are seniors and people with underlying health conditions, which make them some of the most at-risk populations in the state. Ensuring that those who work with these populations are vaccinated is a step in the right direction in keeping them safe and healthy.
“Illinois has more than 150 Supportive Living Communities serving seniors and persons with disabilities, so it’s important that staff members get vaccinated as quickly as possible to ensure that all of our residents have peace of mind knowing they are being taken care of in the safest environment possible,” said AALC Executive Director Karin Zosel. “Our goal with the Let’s Get Vaccinated campaign is to get one hundred percent of Supportive Living employees across the state vaccinated so we can move forward.”
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* Sun-Times live blog headlines…
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Bipartisanship is nice, but Joe Biden’s first job is to come to the aid of suffering Americans