Health Officials anticipating ‘Bottleneck’ as patients wait for vaccines

Champaign County

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA)–Illinois continues ramping up the rollout of the coronavirus vaccine.
Last week, the Pritzker administration expanded group 1B to allow people with disabilities or people over 40 with Underlying conditions to get in line starting Feb. 25th. But with that longer line is going to come a longer wait time.

That’s because the pool of people who need their second shot is growing too, and those doses are time sensitive. So until there’s more vaccine to go around, people waiting on their first shot might be in line awhile.

Anuar Ponce de Leon from the Disability Access Network says he was fortunate to get his first dose, but says other people with disabilities haven’t always been as lucky.

“I think for most people with disabilities, this is very frustrating,” he said.

He added most people can’t afford to keep waiting.

“A lot of us live with auto immune diseases or weaker lungs, and that puts us at risk.”

As essential workers, care givers were apart of vaccine group 1A. But caregivers who refuse the vaccine could pose a risk to people who need their help.

“Even if we’re quarantined and in isolation, we can’t control what our assistants are doing when they’re not with us,” Ponce De Leon said.

Christy Lee is a care taker looking after two of her daughters who live with down syndrome.
She says she’s also concerned to hear about the vaccine supply.

“Am I disappointed? A little,” Lee said. “But it really seems like our county is doing a great job getting what they can, and getting them into people’s arms, so if my daughter has to wait a couple more weeks, it just is what it is.”

As a care giver, she’s already received her first dose and is waiting for her second.
In the meantime, she says her family plans to continue to stay cautious until more people are able to get vaccinated.

“Yes, my daughter has a risk factor,” Lee said. “But who am I to say her risk factor is more important than another person’s? So we’re just going to stay patient and keep isolating.”

Health Officials expect a more balanced supply of doses to return in March.

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