COVID-19 vaccine vials bottles

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell pf Kentucky and Democratic Illinois Sens. Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth  announced millions of dollars to support expanded testing and vaccine distribution in Kentucky and Illinois. 

McConnell announced the commonwealth has received $297,521,270 for coronavirus testing and vaccine distribution. The federal funding was distributed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and was made available by the targeted COVID-19 rescue package enacted in December. 

McConnell said $257,152,034 to support statewide testing, contact tracing, and other initiatives to slow the spread of the virus, and also received $40,369,236 for vaccine distribution. 

“Kentucky is on our way to beating this virus with safe and effective vaccines. I’m proud the additional targeted federal relief funding is helping protect Kentucky families,” said Senator McConnell. “Through Operation Warp Speed, American researchers and healthcare heroes developed vaccines in record time. Now, hardworking Kentuckians at UPS and DHL Express are a critical link to sending these vaccines across the eastern United States. Together, we will finish this fight.” 

For Illinois, Durbin and Duckworth announced a total of $843,870,238 in federal funding to support COVID-19 testing and vaccination distribution. The funding is being awarded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as directed by the recently enacted Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplement Appropriations Act. 

With the funding, the Illinois Department of Public Health will receive $574,308 million for COVID-19 testing and $90,158 million for vaccination distribution. Additionally, the Chicago Department of Public Health will receive $155,060 million for testing and $24,342 million for vaccine distribution. 

“Our state has now surpassed one million total COVID-19 cases, making it clear that we have more work to do to get to the other side of this crisis,” Duckworth said. “That work will need to include more widespread testing and vaccinations, and today’s federal investment is crucial to helping facilitate testing and distribute those vaccines efficiently and equitably across Illinois. I’ll keep working alongside Senator Durbin and state and local health officials to support Illinoisans, especially those from hard-hit communities, in slowing the spread of this deadly virus.”