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COVID-19 vaccine update from the health department

As the State of Illinois prepares to move into Phase 1B of the COVID-19 vaccination process, DCHD would like to inform the public about what that is and how it will be accomplished locally.

Perhaps the most important thing to remember is that everything depends on available vaccine supply. While eligible recipients likely number in the thousands, we can only dispense what we have in our possession. That said, rest assured that there will be no wasting of vaccine. Our mission is to make sure every single available dose we have gets into the arm of a willing vaccine recipient. Douglas County is receiving the Moderna vaccine—a two-dose regimen that requires at least a 28-day interval between doses. It is authorized for ages 18 and older. 

DCHD has weekly, recurring vaccine clinic dates and times planned—Wednesdays 4:30-6:30 p.m. at the Arcola Center and Thursdays 12:30-2:30 p.m. at Tuscola Community Building—starting the last week in January, but will not open registration until we know we have sufficient vaccine. Watch DCHD social media sites and county newspapers for updated information and opportunity to pre-register online for these clinics. Pre-registration is strongly encouraged to help streamline the process and make sure we have sufficient vaccine for all accepted appointments. It is highly recommended that if you don’t have access to a computer or other device, enlist the help of a family member or friend to do so for you. 

Once you have pre-registered for a vaccine clinic appointment, please be sure to bring a printed copy of the appointment “ticket” or have a photo of it on your smartphone. We will be scanning that ticket at check-in. You will have to bare your arm for the vaccine, so it would be helpful to wear a short-sleeved shirt or something that easily allows access to your bare upper arm for the injection. You will receive an immunization card at your appointment with the date and dosage information of your first vaccine. It will also list the date for which you are first eligible to receive your second dose. You will be asked to repeat the online pre-registration process for this dose as well. 

For those folks who took our now closed online COVID vaccine survey, DCHD will be attempting to reach you via Hyper-Reach to inform you of clinic registration openings for when they are available. Watch for a phone number starting with 217-599. 

Listed below are the population demographics included in Phase 1B.

1B Eligible Individuals (as determined by CDC and IDPH):

  People age 65+

• First responders        (fire, law enforcement, 911 workers, security personnel, school officers)

• Education (teachers, principals, student support, student aides, daycare workers) 

• Food/Agriculture (processing, plants, veterinary health, livestock services, animal care)

• Manufacturing (industrial production of goods for distribution)

• Corrections workers and inmates

• Public transit workers (flight crew, bus drivers, train conductors, taxi drivers, para-transit drivers)

• Grocery store workers (baggers, cashiers, stockers, pick-up, customer service)

• Shelters/Adult daycare (homeless shelters, women’s shelters, adult day programs, PSR programs)

What you can expect at your vaccine appointmen:t

Vaccine recipients will be asked for their pre-registration ticket and fill out a brief questionnaire, after which the painless injection will be administered. Out of an abundance of caution, recipients will be asked to wait 15 minutes before leaving to ensure there are no adverse reactions. The most common side effect is a sore arm at injection site, and mild fatigue is occasionally reported. The second dose should be administered at least 28 days after the first dose. Recipients will receive the vaccines free of charge. 

This is a brief overview of what DCHD anticipates the vaccine process to look like. Thank you for your continued patience as we work through the state and federal guidelines governing us to make this effort as efficient and fair as possible.

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