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Will County focused on vaccinating older residents as more than 200,000 total shots have been administered

Will County officials say they’re focused on vaccinating residents age 65 and older for COVID-19 in the weeks before the state’s eligibility to receive a shot expands on April 12.

Gov. JB Pritzker announced Thursday that April 12 is the target date to expand eligibility to all Illinois residents age 16 and over, outside of Chicago.

Will County Health Department spokesman Steve Brandy said his agency is planning to open up eligibility for vaccines in compliance with the governor’s direction. As always, he said, appointment availability will depend on supplies, which officials have expressed confidence will continue to improve.

Until then, Brandy said, the health department is stressing that older residents get registered to make a vaccine appointment if they haven’t.

The county announced this week the launch of a new online search feature meant to make looking for an open vaccine appointment in Will County easier.

The search tool can be found at willcountyhealth.org/vaccine-locations. Vaccinations are being administered by appointment only.

The Will County Health Department launched a new online search feature on its website to help residents make appointments for their COVID-19 vaccine.

The Will County Health Department launched a new online search feature on its website to help residents make appointments for their COVID-19 vaccine. (Alex Ortiz/)

“In order for our county to keep moving forward, it is vital for residents over the age of 65 in Will County to get vaccinated and we are working to make it easier for them to find a vaccine location through our new online search,” Will County Executive Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant said in a news release.

She noted that a further relaxing of state-imposed restrictions meant to slow the spread of the virus is dependent on vaccinating more older residents.

Vicky Alleman (left) and Leslie Obrochta draw syringes of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine on Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021, at Will County Health Department in Joliet, Ill. The Will County Health Department is accelerating vaccination efforts throughout the region.

Vicky Alleman (left) and Leslie Obrochta draw syringes of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine on Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021, at Will County Health Department in Joliet, Ill. The Will County Health Department is accelerating vaccination efforts throughout the region. (Geoff Stellfox – gstellfox@shawmedia.com/)

On Friday, Will County saw another milestone with more than 200,000 total doses administered, according to the latest data from the Illinois Department of Public Health.

An average of about 5,000 shots are being given every day in Will County, according to the IDPH.

Over 77,000 Will County residents have been fully vaccinated, representing about 11% of the county’s total population.

The county’s average test positivity rate stood at 3.4% as of March 16.

For more information, visit willcountyhealth.org.

Source: The Daily Chronicle

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