Illinois starts planning for COVID-19 vaccine as cases surge

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — As Illinois is battling a resurgence of the coronavirus, the governor is laying groundwork for distributing a vaccine when it becomes available.

Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Wednesday that vaccines will first go to health care workers battling the virus, long-term care residents and other vulnerable populations.

But beyond that, he says the plan will take shape around what the federal government approves. Officials say a vaccine could be available by year’s end at the earliest. Illinois reported 69 new deaths from the virus on Wednesday and 4,352 new infections.