Will County officials working to expedite vaccination process in safe, efficient manner
Will County has developed a vaccination program which utilizes a collaborative partnership between the county Health Department and over 40 different providers including local hospitals, EMS providers, pharmacies and other healthcare providers.
“The COVID-19 pandemic and our strategies to combat it are evolving quickly, almost daily,” said County Executive Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant. “We understand people are ready and anxious to receive the vaccine and we want to assure everyone we are working very diligently to develop sound processes to get the vaccine out quickly and safely.”
The vaccination program is based on recommendations and requirements from the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and is a phased approach with set priority groups.
“The job we are undertaking is unprecedented, and we are trying to do it as fast as we can,” said Sue Olenek, executive director of the health department. “We have over 100,000 residents who have given us their information on our on-line sign-up form, and yet there are so many more who want to receive the vaccine, which is wonderful.
“We have the volunteers and we have the sites for future clinics as we head into 1b, and we have already administered over 31,400 doses as we prepare to finish 1a. We have only begun the vaccination era, so we ask everyone to be patient. There is nothing we want more than vaccination shots into the arms of all those who desire it.”
The County’s Executive Office, Emergency Management Agency and Health Department are collaborating to best respond to the ever-changing guidance put out by the IDPH in its State Mass Vaccination Plan – the guiding plan for every county health department in the state.
The county received its first Pfizer vaccine on Dec.16 and is nearing completion of vaccinating all individuals in Phase 1a, which includes healthcare professionals and residents of long-term care facilities.
The County has now begun to contact and schedule appointments for individuals and entities in Phase 1b, which includes those 65 and older, first responders, educators, grocery store, postal and manufacturing workers. To find out more information about the phases, please visit the Illinois Department of Public Health’s website at: https://www.dph.illinois.gov/covid19/vaccine-distribution.
To register for the vaccine, visit the website:
www.willcountyhealth.org/covid-19/covid-vaccine. For those 65 and older without access to a computer or the Internet, call the Senior Services Center at (815) 723-9713.