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What do you need to know about COVID-19 vaccinations in the Quad Cities?

QC Covid-19 Coalition provides answers to the future of vaccination processes in the QCA
Published: Jan. 21, 2021 at 7:42 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 25, 2021 at 11:16 AM CST
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QUAD CITIES (KWQC) - TV6 is providing the latest with the COVID-19 vaccination on the national level and on the local level. We’re working to keep viewers up-to-date on the latest in Iowa and in Illinois.

TV6 wants to provide the answers to your questions. If you have a question you want answered regarding the vaccine in either Illinois or Iowa you can send it to us at news@kwqc.com. Let us know what state you live in and we will work on providing that answer.

On Thursday, Jan. 21, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds expanded the COVID-19 vaccine eligibility in Phase 1B to include anyone 65 and older tied up a common confusion many in the state had.

Iowa officials previously announced the vaccine would only be limited to those 75 and older, along with other specified groups such as frontline workers, teachers, those who work in the penal system, and government officials.

These changes have directly affected the Quad Cities’ effort to get vaccinated at a local level. With ongoing changes to both Scott and Rock Island County health departments’ vaccination processes, there has been a great deal of uncertainty surrounding vaccine distribution in the area.

In Illinois, multiple counties, like Rock Island County and Mercer County have announced availability for vaccinations. While they have filled up quickly, health officials have announced how residents can keep track of when they can sign-up.

TV6 spoke with the health departments to answer common questions we have heard from viewers regarding vaccine distribution.

Who is eligible to be vaccinated in Phase 1B in Iowa?

According to IDPH, the following groups will be eligible at various stages of Phase 1B:

  • First responders
  • Agriculture, manufacturing, and distribution workers who live in congregate settings that do not allow for social distancing
  • PK-12 school staff, childcare workers, and early childhood educators
  • Inspectors responsible for hospital, child safety, and long-term care
  • Correctional facility staff and incarcerated individuals
  • Staff of, and individuals living in, congregated settings (does not include college dormitories)
  • State government officials and staff
  • Individuals with disabilities and the staff who care for them

Who is eligible to be vaccinated in Phase 1B in Illinois?

According to Rock Island Health Department’s website, Phase 1B is to include

  • Residents 65 and older
  • Frontline essential workers, defined as those workers who are essential for the functioning of society
  • First responders: Fire, law enforcement, 911 workers, security personnel, school officers
  • Education: Teachers, principals, student support, student aides, daycare worker
  • Food and agriculture: Processing, plants, veterinary health, livestock services, animal care
  • Manufacturing: Industrial production of goods for distribution to retail, wholesale or other manufacturers
  • Corrections workers and inmates: Jail officers, juvenile facility staff, workers providing in-person support, inmates
  • U.S. Postal Service workers
  • Public transit workers: Flight crews, bus drivers, train conductors, taxi drivers, para-transit drivers, in-person support, ride-sharing services
  • Grocery store workers: Baggers, cashiers, stockers, pickup, customer service
  • Shelters and daycare staff: Homeless shelter, women’s shelter, adult day/drop-in program, sheltered workshop, psycho-social rehab

I’m in Phase 1B in Iowa. When will I be able to be vaccinated?

Iowa is breaking down vaccination groups into different Tiers which will transition over time:

  • Any Tier, any time: Persons 65 and older
  • Tier 1: First Responders, PK-12 School Staff, Childcare Workers, Early Childhood Educators
  • Tier 2: Food, Agriculture, Manufacturing, and Distribution workers who live in congregate settings that do not allow for social distancing and Individuals with Disabilities and their care staff
  • Tier 3: Staff of Individuals living in congregate settings, Government Officials and staff
  • Tier 4: Inspectors responsible for hospital, child safety, and long-term care
  • Tier 5: Correctional Facility staff and incarcerated individuals

Vaccinations for Phase 1B are likely to start in the first week of February, according to the Scott County Health Department.

Where can I get vaccinated in Scott County?

Vaccinations have been taking place, and will continue to take place for Phase 1B at the Scott County Health Department’s Clinic and at locations with their partners Genesis, UnityPoint Health Trinity, and Community Health Care.

Where can I get vaccinated in Rock Island County?

Rock Island County will also utilize local partners such as UnityPoint Health-Trinity and Jewel-Osco to distribute vaccinations, as well as a mass-vaccination site at the Greater Auto Auction (4015 78th Ave., Milan, IL).

How do I schedule an appointment to be vaccinated at the mass vaccination site in Rock Island County?

During a briefing of QC COVID-19 Coalition Thursday, Public Health Administrator Nita Ludwig went into detail on Rock Island’s protocols for getting vaccinated at the Greater Auto Auction site in Milan.

Scheduling appointments will begin at 10:00 a.m. on Fridays and go until appointments are no longer available. Vaccinations will take place on Tuesdays at the site and will follow a strict process as outlined in a post on Rock Island County Health Department’s Facebook Page.

They are expected to announce how many doses and appointments are available each week on their Facebook page, and they ask that the public avoid the area if possible if you do not have an appointment, to ease traffic. They will not accept walk/drive-ups.

How long will it take to move on to the next phase in both counties?

Neither county currently has a timetable for when Phase 1C will begin or who they will include, as that guidance comes from the state level. Ed Rivers, director of Scott County Health Department, estimated Thursday that at the current rate, Iowa is rolling out vaccines, and with the recent change in eligibility for those who may receive it, that Phase 1B may last up to nine months. This timeline would, of course, be affected by larger production and distribution of the vaccines available, as well as approval of other vaccines currently pending approval by the FDA.

TV6 will continue to keep you updated on the latest information regarding COVID-19 vaccinations in the area.

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