Nine rural Illinois hospitals chosen for vaccine equity program
Nine critical access hospitals in Illinois have been selected as a part of the Safety Net Direct Vaccine Allocation Pilot program. The program will target health centers and hospitals in rural areas to ensure an equitable distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Governor J.B. Pritzker said about the program in a statement:
“I’m proud that we’re expanding this important program with a special focus on rural communities. Nine critical access hospitals across Illinois, to begin receiving additional vaccine allocations, is a continuation of our mission to meet communities where they already are. Rural communities deserve the same protections from this virus that suburban and urban communities get.”
Rurals hospitals have had struggles with the COVID-19 vaccine rollout. Transportation and the storage of the vaccine has been a problem for many smaller health departments that may not have the necessary resources. They also have less resources for communication and public information notices than their larger counterparts.
The areas also have significantly lower populations than their urban counterparts. This has led to some governors overlooking them when deciding how to distribute the vaccine within their state.
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The following hospitals and health centers were chosen to be included in the program:
- Taylorville Memorial Hospital, Christian County
- Gibson Area Hospital and Health Services, Ford County
- Hamilton Memorial Hospital District, Hamilton County
- Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital, Logan County
- Genesis Medical Center Aledo, Mercer County
- Hillsboro Area Hospital, Montgomery County
- Hopedale Medical Complex, Tazewell County
- Carle Hoopeston Regional Health Center, Vermilion County
- Fairfield Memorial Hospital, Wayne County
Each of them will receive an additional 6,000 doses of the vaccines every week, on top of the regular allocation that they already receive from the state. The IDPH used rural and geographical data to determine which centers were chosen.
Illinois is one of six states to have been allocated more than 5 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine by the federal governments. More than 3.7 million doses have been distributed in the state so far. Nearly 10% of Illinois’ 12 million residents have been fully vaccinated.