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Senate Republican Caucus sends letter to Gov. Pritzker to improve vaccine distribution

Dear Governor Pritzker,

It’s been over a year since Illinois’ first positive COVID-19 case. Since then, those in long-term care facilities have been dying, families haven’t seen each other in months, and our economy has faced historic obstacles. Yet, with a vaccine in hand, Illinois has failed its residents.

The numbers are staggering. According to your Illinois Department of Public Health, of the 537,050 doses of vaccines available and allotted to our long-term care facilities, only 20 percent of them have been administered to its residents—a population that makes up nearly half of COVID-related deaths. That is unacceptable.

Additionally, according to the New York Times, Illinois ranks 47th in overall vaccine distribution, with just 4.8% of Illinoisans receiving at least one shot as of today. We are dead last compared to our sister states—Florida, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas and California. We are asking for you to provide a clear explanation to legislators and to the citizens of Illinois as to why Illinois is among the worst states in regard to getting vaccines out to those who need it most. With all due respect, blaming the previous President, the federal government and CVS/Walgreens simply will not suffice.

Since the pandemic began, you decided on a go-it-alone approach, one that left the Legislature, an equal branch of government, sidelined. You need to empower us as legislators by including us in this process so we can help our constituents who are calling us every day asking why they or their loved ones have not been able to access a vaccine. It's up to you to provide full transparency and implement the coordination necessary to maximize the rollout of this vaccine. Anything less is a huge disservice to the people of Illinois and will cost lives.

Respectfully, Members of the Illinois Senate Republican Caucus