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First round of COVID-19 vaccine administered at Illinois Vets’ Homes

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WGEM) -- The Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs (IDVA) announced Thursday that all residents and employees of the Illinois Veterans’ Homes have had the COVID-19 vaccine made available to them.

IDVA officials stated the first dose of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine was administered this week to all residents and staff who opted to receive it. The second dose will be administered at the homes in three weeks, with vaccine continuing to be made available to those who have not yet opted to receive it.

“Our veterans are heroes who bravely served us and deserve quality care. With the vaccine now available, my administration worked quickly and efficiently to distribute vaccines to veterans and staff in our state-run homes. I’m grateful to our local health department partners for their hard work to get this done and we will continue to work together to protect those most vulnerable to this virus,” said Gov. JB Pritzker.

"From the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, the IDVA has worked closely with Governor Pritzker and IDPH to implement policies that protect the health and safety of Illinois’ heroes and the dedicated staff who care for them,” said IDVA Director Linda Chapa LaVia. “IDVA has already facilitated the vaccination of 74% of all veterans’ home residents and we will continue to rely on guidance from IDPH in our effort to protect those in our care.”

Among adults, the risk for severe illness and death from COVID-19 increases with age, with older adults considered to be at the highest risk. Accordingly, Gov. JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Public Health have prioritized the veterans’ homes along with other long-term care facilities and health care providers in the first round of Illinois’ vaccination plan.

IDVA officials report that 794 residents and staff to date have received a combination of both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. The county health departments in each of the homes’ respective areas delivered the vaccine to the homes. Until the COVID-19 pandemic is controlled, staff and residents who receive the vaccine will continue following Illinois Department of Public Health guidance to limit the spread of this virus.

IDVA reported the following have received the first round of the vaccine:

Illinois Veterans’ Home in Anna
Residents – 95%
Staff – 32%

Illinois Veterans’ Home in Manteno
Residents – 90%
Staff – 18%

Illinois Veterans’ Home in Quincy
Residents – 90%
Staff – 42%

Illinois Veterans’ Home in LaSalle
Residents – 71%
Staff – 28%

IDVA stated staff and residents who have not opted to receive their first dose will continue to have the vaccine made available to them, along with education and direct outreach encouraging all who are eligible to opt in to receive the vaccine. Following this initial vaccine program, 74% of residents in the homes have been vaccinated and 40% of the staff have received the vaccine. A breakdown of percentages of staff and residents at each of the homes who have received the vaccine are as follows:

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