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Rock Island County Health Dept. holds first mass vaccination clinic

Any healthcare worker that lives or works in Rock Island was eligible.
Published: Jan. 12, 2021 at 7:11 PM CST
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MILAN, Ill. (KWQC) -

Dozens of cars lined up at the Greater Quad Cities Auction in Milan on Monday morning. The Rock Island County Health Department held the first mass vaccination clinic for health care workers outside of hospital and public health facilities. Any healthcare worker that lives or works in Rock Island was eligible.

“This is kind of a momentous occasion here. The first time people outside of the hospital systems will be getting their vaccines and it’s the light at the end of the tunnel,” said Janet Hill, the Chief Operating Officer of the Rock Island Public Health Department

During the drive-thru participants got their vitals checked, received the Moderna vaccine, and were watched by a healthcare professional for 15 minutes in the event of an allergic reaction before heading out.

Ruth Martel, who works in a doctor’s office, was the first in the long line, getting at the location 2 hours prior to the start.

“First in line. I always said that when my turn came I’d be first in line,” she said. “I’m feeling great. I’ve been waiting for this. I’ve been waiting for my turn and [I’m] not only doing it for myself but I’m doing it for anybody I come into contact with.”

Long term care facility workers like Lisa Terry got vaccinated with their residents in mind.

“I’m so excited. So ready to have the first step for this being over,” she said, “We’re just trying to get through this and anything we can do to protect our residents and not have them to continually be isolated from their families and their loved ones...anything I can do to bring them back together I want to do.”

They’re now looking forward to many things

“My families coming back in and visiting with our residents...being able to do normal life things,” Terry said.

“I’m so thankful for everybody that made this possible here because I’ve been waiting,” said Martel, “and when your turn comes around take advantage of it.”

There’s a long road ahead in the vaccination phases, but health officials said are ready.

“We’re going to get through this with a sense of grace and treating people well and that includes this phase which is the beginning of the end, but it is just the beginning. It’s going to be months and months before everyone gets their dose,” Hill said.

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