The Kendall County Health Department exceeded initial expectations with its COVID-19 mass vaccination clinic at Oswego East High School this past weekend, administering 2,250 doses as the county marks one year since a state of emergency began.
Health officials plan to vaccinate another 2,250 people at an identical clinic at the school next Sunday, March 21, Health Department Executive Director RaeAnn VanGundy confirmed. All those vaccinated at the Oswego site will receive their second doses at clinics on April 11 and 18.
“We’re really in a rhythm,” VanGundy told county board members during a meeting Tuesday morning, March 16, in Yorkville.
Officials see the vaccinations as an end to the pandemic that prompted County Chairman Scott Gryder to declare a state of emergency one year ago today.
“The end is in sight,” Gryder said at Tuesday’s meeting. “I know it’s hard to see sometimes but it is in sight.”
Gryder added that on a call with Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike, the state’s top health officials said vaccines would soon be “‘be falling from the sky in a matter of weeks.’” State and federal officials have largely controlled local supplies of the vaccines, leaving Kendall County leaders to constantly lobby and request more.
“Please send as many as you can to Kendall County,” Gryder said. “We have a plan in place to vaccinate all of our residents that want vaccinations. We just need the vaccine to be able to administer these.”
Thanks to all those pleas, Kendall County now has 12.30% of residents fully vaccinated, the second highest of the Chicago collar counties. DuPage County leads the region with 12.73% of residents fully vaccinated. Crucial for lowering the number of deaths from COVID-19, Kendall County has vaccinated 80% of its residents over age 65, the second highest in the state.
Despite the positive figures, VanGundy urged residents to continue taking the pandemic seriously.
“We still need to ensure that we’re wearing these masks, we’re protecting others,” VanGundy said. “Even if we have our second doses and we’re feeling comfortable, it’s about the protecting the other and making sure we’re filing out those responsibilities.”
Source: The Daily Chronicle