Illinois leaders optimistic with Moderna vaccine on horizon

By Sarah Mansur Capitol News Illinois

Delivery crews transport the state’s first shipment of a COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by the drug companies Pfizer and BioNtech on Monday, Dec. 14. (

SPRINGFIELD – Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced Friday, Dec. 18 that more than 17,000 doses of the first coronavirus vaccine have been administered to Illinois frontline health care workers outside of Chicago, up from 3,500 doses on Thursday.

Pritzker said Illinois hospitals could begin to receive shipments of a second COVID-19 vaccine, developed by the drug company Moderna, as early as next week. That announcement comes one day after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s advisory committee recommended the use of the Moderna vaccine in people ages 18 and older. The FDA is expected to grant Emergency Use Authorization for the Moderna vaccine.

The first vaccine, developed by Pfizer and BioNTech, received such authorization from the FDA last week.

The Moderna vaccine was shown to be 94.1 percent effective after two doses four week apart, compared to the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine that was found 95 percent effective after two doses three weeks apart.

“This is yet another very exciting development, and it reinforces and it brightens the light at the end of the tunnel for all of us who have been fighting through COVID-19,” Pritzker said.

News about the vaccines comes as the state’s coronavirus death toll surpassed 15,000, rising to 15,015 among 886,805 cases and more than 12 million test results reported since the beginning of the pandemic.

With 181 more deaths, statewide COVID-19 total exceeds 15,000

Vaccine doses sent to hospitals across the state