ROCK ISLAND, Illinois — A new pilot program in Illinois will benefit Quad Cities residents, helping more people get vaccinated against COVID-19.
"Certainly on the Illinois side we've gotten more vaccine coming directly to CHC," said Tom Bowman, the CEO at Community Health Care, Inc., in Rock Island.
The pilot program was announced by Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Wednesday. That program will target under-served communities, and help reach everyone who is eligible to be vaccinated.
Community Health Care in Rock Island is one of nine sites receiving extra doses. Specifically, they will receive 400 doses of the Moderna vaccine from the State on Monday.
The center will then receive between 300 and 500 doses of the vaccine each week, as supply allows, according to Bowman.
"The State of Illinois really wants to make sure that they're having equitable distribution of the vaccine, and so they are working with federally qualified health centers throughout the state," Bowman said.
Those 400 doses CHC will receive Monday from the State is in addition to any other doses CHC receives from local health departments, Bowman said.
As part of the pilot program, CHC will need to follow the tiered guidelines set by the State of Illinois, according to Bowman.
"We want to make sure anybody regardless of where you work or what your job is, or you income, can have access, equal access to the vaccine, so we're happy the state is prioritizing it," Bowman said.
CHC has already purchased more freezers and refrigerators to store the vaccines, Bowman said. He also said CHC is using their records to identify people who are eligible for the vaccine, and reaching out to them directly.
"We're just trying to be part of that solution," Bowman said.
CHC has set up a wait list on their website, which includes screening questions to determine if patients are eligible for the vaccine at that time. For more information about that wait list, click here.