SPRINGFIELD – In response to increasing cases of COVID-19 in the Region 1 counties of Carroll, Lee, Ogle and Whiteside, the state is sending rapid response vaccination teams to the Sauk Valley next week to distribute one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccines.
Those eligible – anyone older than 18 – will set up their own appointments, rather than be put on a waiting list; go to https://covidvaccination.dph.illinois.gov/ or call 833-621-1284. (Signup may not be available until later today or Saturday.)
You must live in the county in which the clinic is held; ID will be required.
Whiteside County will get 600 doses that will be dispensed from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 5 at the McCormick Event Center, 205.E. Third St. in Rock Falls.
Carroll County’s clinic will be held Wednesday, and 800 doses have been allotted for that day.
Ogle County, which is getting 1,200 doses, will hold a vaccination clinic Thursday.
Lee County will dispense its 600 doses on April 3.
The Johnson & Johnson doses are in addition to each department’s usual vaccine allotment that week.
Emails sent to the other three health departments seeking further details on their clinics were not immediately answered this afternoon.
The Illinois Department of Public Health has seen vaccine demand slow in several counties throughout the state, with early signs of unfilled appointments and increased vaccine inventory. IDPH is authorizing those communities to begin vaccinating all residents 16 and older at their immediate discretion, in order to use the vaccine doses they currently have available.
“Recent increases in hospital admissions and test positivity are concerning new developments and we don’t want to go down the same path we’ve seen before and experience a resurgence in the pandemic, which is why Gov. Pritzker directed us to use all our resources to halt these upticks,” IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said in a news release.
“We cannot move forward if our metrics are going backward. The vaccine will help get us to the end of the pandemic, but we need to continue to reduce spread of the virus by wearing a mask, avoiding large crowds, keeping six feet of distance, getting tested after seeing others, and getting vaccinated as soon as possible.”
The federal government is projecting that Illinois will receive nearly 1 million doses next week for distribution, an all-time high. Steady vaccination operations are the best tool to keep Illinois residents safe. Reductions in demand result in inventory that could be unused, and all inventory should be used as quickly as possible to protect residents.
The mobile rapid response vaccination teams, made op of National Guard members, are deploying to five Region 1 counties – Boone is the fifth – where IDPH epidemiologists have determined there is a need to administer doses quickly to blunt increasing trends. These doses are on top of the allocation to the local health departments, the release said.
Region 1 residents also encouraged to utilize the existing mass vaccination sites in Rockford in Winnebago County.
One at 1321 Sandy Hollow Road is open; another at New Zion Baptist Church, 4747 W. Riverside Blvd., is expected to open next week. Go to www.wchd.org for more information.
Source: The Daily Chronicle