More doses coming to Mercer County as Genesis Aledo named site for vaccine program

Published: Mar. 21, 2021 at 3:34 PM CDT
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MERCER Co., Ill. (KWQC) - Genesis Medical Center of Aledo will be one of nine critical-access hospitals in Illinois part of the Safety Net Direct Vaccine Allocation Pilot Program. The program is designed to help reach more rural residents.

“The state realized that we were not getting enough doses into our rural communities and they saw our partnership with our local health department being very successful with the few doses that we were getting and getting them into arms quick enough,” says Ted Rogalski, Administrator at Genesis in Aledo.

The state of Illinois will now be giving the hospital more doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. Initially, the hospital was splitting two hundred doses between their facility and the Mercer County Health Department. Genesis Medical Center in Aledo will now get four hundred doses of the Moderna vaccine each week. The county health department will get an additional three hundred per week.

“So more than triple the amount of doses into Mercer County just in the last week,” says Rogalski.

The program will bring more health care access to the rural community during a critical time for vaccinations. Now with more access in the county, numbers of those vaccinated are expected to soar.

“We have about fifteen percent of the population that’s fully vaccinated but just in the last couple weeks of first doses, we are up to about fifty percent of the residents that have gotten the first dose. So you will see that fully vaccinated number just skyrocket over the next two to four weeks as they get their second doses,” says Rogalski.

The Aledo hospital will hold vaccine clinics every Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon. Any Mercer County resident over age 18 is encouraged to call (309)-582-9450 to get signed up for a vaccine appointment.

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