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Local healthcare officials don’t anticipate COVID-19 vaccine until 2021

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PEORIA (WEEK) -- Recent emerging vaccines from companies like Pfizer, Moderna and Astrazeneca leave the question remaining as to when it will be available to the general public.

Local health officials said there most likely won't be a vaccine for the general public until at least mid-2021.

When asking local health officials, we received the following statement from OSF HealthCare.

"Vaccines against COVID-19 are still in development and awaiting regulatory approval. We know there is great interest in a vaccine since it is our best course to eradicate the virus. OSF HealthCare does not know at this time which COVID-19 vaccine we will receive, timing or quantity we could receive. We have a planning team that meets regularly to discuss the logistics of everything related to the vaccine.  It is our understanding that initial allotments of any COVID-19 vaccine will be used for our frontline caregivers, this will be followed by older members of our communities and other high risk individuals. Vaccinations for the general public are not expected to be widely available until at least mid-2021."

The next statement came from UnityPoint Health officials regarding emerging vaccines.

"Although significant progress continues in the development of a COVID-19 vaccine, the reality is we all need to practice COVID safety measures for the foreseeable future. Once a vaccine is available for clinical use, UnityPoint Health is prepared to partner with state and county public health departments on allocation and distribution. However, until a vaccine is distributed to the general public (and even for some time after) we MUST remain vigilant. Please wear your mask, limit indoor gatherings, practice social distancing, washing your hands for at least 20 seconds and stay home when you’re sick."

Paige Blanzy

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