Bryant critical of vaccine inequity

With Region 4 officially moving to Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois plan, State Sen. Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro) is doubling down on her calls to the Governor to improve COVID-19 vaccine distribution and access throughout Southern Illinois.

“Despite repeated calls from Republican lawmakers, Illinois’ vaccine rollout continues to lag behind the national average, and questions remain about distribution,” said Sen. Bryant. “I have health departments and constituents throughout the 58th District contacting me about the lack of vaccine dosages being allocated to some of our hardest-hit communities. It’s not just irresponsible. It’s dangerous.”

According to the New York Times, Illinois currently ranks 45th in overall vaccine distribution.

“Our dismal vaccine distribution ranking isn’t new news, yet nothing seems to be changing. It is beyond frustrating that communities with high numbers of vulnerable populations, such as Monroe County, have only been allocated a few hundred doses per week,” said Sen. Bryant. “We shouldn’t have eligible residents who have waited in fear for months being turned away at vaccine clinics.”

As of Jan. 4, Monroe County had a total reported inventory of only 440 doses of COVID-19 vaccine. The current population for the county is 34,335, and the COVID-19 death toll for the area has reached more than 75.

“It’s simple. Vaccine inequity is a problem in our state,” said Sen. Bryant. “Yet, felons are receiving vaccinations and a debate has emerged about whether or not lawmakers should be prioritized before our constituents for vaccine access. It’s absurd.”

Monroe County has only one vaccine distribution location at the Waterloo Public Health Department.

“Our residents have done what they can to prevent the spread of this virus and helped protect our communities. Now it’s time for the Governor to do his part and provide access to the vaccine,” said Sen. Bryant.

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