Vaccine Latest: Illinois Phase 1B Part II begins this week
Vaccination opportunities are also going to expand this week for those in Illinois’ Phase 1B part two.
ROCK ISLAND, Ill. (KWQC) - The Quad Cities experienced a temporary reduction in vaccine supply due to storm delays that impacted shipments nationwide. This meant this week’s Rock Island County Vaccine clinic had 200 doses to give this week in comparison to roughly 800.
“This was a really unusual situation and we hope that, as beautiful as it is out today, that that was the only time this year we’re going to have to deal with that,” said Janet Hill, the Chief Operating Officer at the Rock Island County Health Department.
Hill credited some of their doses to the East Moline Correctional Center. She said it was the first prison in Moline to receive vaccines and the National Guard vaccinated the inmates and guards who wished to be vaccinated.
“There was a little bit leftover from that so that’s the bulk of what we were able to give today. It was doses that the correctional center didn’t use. We were grateful to have those because if we would have only had to rely on what we had on hand, it would have been just a tiny amount,” Hill said.
Vaccination opportunities are also going to expand this week for those in Illinois’ Phase 1B part two. Starting February 25th, Illinoisans 16 and over with certain underlying health conditions will be able to sign up for vaccination.
The underlying health conditions include: Cancer, Chronic Kidney Disease, COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), Diabetes, Heart Condition, Immunocompromised State from a Solid Organ Transplant, Obesity, Pregnancy, Pulmonary Disease, and Sickle Cell Disease.
“What we would need is some sort of proof from people when they come to the clinic that they have this underlying health condition,” Hill said. “As you can understand this adds a lot of people to the pool who are eligible for the vaccine...until supply meets that demand, it’s going to continue to be very difficult to get an appointment, and we understand that, that is extremely frustrating to folks.”
The possibility of another vaccine is also on the horizon. The FDA is scheduled to meet later this week to decide on emergency use authorization for Johnson and Johnson’s one-dose vaccine.
“Emergency use authorization for the one-dose Johnson and Johnson vaccine could come as early as next week. Just think about how another vaccine might change up the landscape,” said Nita Ludwig, the Public Health Administrator for RICHD.
“The fact that it’s a one-dose really will speed along this process because right now the entire country is prioritizing second doses,” Hill said. “Keep in perspective why we are doing all of this hard work of getting everyone vaccinated why everyone has sacrificed so much to keep their neighbor, and their family of themselves safe.”
Hill said they’re anticipating the vaccine supply for next week’s clinic will be back to their normal allocation of 800.
During Tuesday’s Quad Cities COVID-19 Coalition call, Ludwig emphasized the importance of people only taking one vaccine slot. In a press release, the coalition said in part:
“The health department and our healthcare and pharmacy partners have one request: once you have a confirmed time slot, please stop looking for another one. This time slot and dose are reserved for you. Double booking slots “just in case” takes away an opportunity for another person who is just as desperate as you are. Calling and canceling your slot forces a scramble to fill it as quickly as possible. Please just accept your time slot and move mountains to keep it. We also ask that you remember to bring the vaccine record card you got after getting your first dose to your second-dose opportunity. This helps your provider verify the appropriate time interval and what manufacturer you received.”
For Iowa, Edward Rivers, the Director of the Scott County Health Department discussed the changes in coronavirus data reporting and planning ahead for those who do plan to travel.
“If you choose to still make spring break travel plans, we encourage you and your family to plan ahead for these new requirements. We also ask that you create plans for how you will avoid crowds, how you will ensure protecting yourself from getting exposed to others who could potentially be ill, and how you will handle getting sick while traveling or upon your return.
We have finally found ourselves in a more stable point in the pandemic and are on the verge of seeing the benefits of herd immunity of having groups of people vaccinated in our community. We need to work together to bring our community safely toward the light at the end of the pandemic tunnel.”
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