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Will County Health Officials Promote Vaccine Equity as the number of COVID-19 cases continue to rise across the country
Anastasia Tuskey
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Will County Health Officials Promote Vaccine Equity as the number of COVID-19 cases continue to rise across the country

As the number of positive COVID-19 cases across the nation continues to rise, Will County health officials are promoting safe, accessible vaccinations in all parts of the county.

“The COVID-19 vaccine is widely available throughout the County,” said Vinita Voss, Vaccine Equity Manager for the Will County Health Department. “We are now focusing on smaller, pop-up vaccination clinics throughout our County to ensure that there is equitable access to vaccines. We want the public to know all of the COVID-19 vaccines are safe and critical to ending this pandemic.”

To date, more than 52 percent of the total population of Will County is fully vaccinated. In specific populations within the county, nearly 50 percentage of people are fully vaccinated. According to Cindy Jackson, director of mass vaccination for the health department, there is still work to be done.

“We will not stop our efforts until each and every person, who is eligible and wants to, is vaccinated,” Jackson said. “That is the only way we will eradicate this virus and protect the public health of our county.”

In recent weeks, the positivity rate in Will County has risen to more than seven percent. This is related to pandemic fatigue, a reduction in the number of people receiving the vaccine, and the spread of the Delta Variant. Jackson said people are also becoming lax in employing pandemic protocol such as wearing a mask, proper hand washing, and social distancing.

"People think, ‘I’ve done my part and gotten the vaccine’,” said Jackson. “What they do not understand is even if you are vaccinated, there is a chance you can contract a milder case or spread the virus to more vulnerable people.”

Voss said the health department is offering smaller vaccination clinics at various events across the county to reach people in their communities. Many of these clinics are offering special incentives to encourage people to get vaccinated, such as free Great America tickets or gift cards.

“Along with our community partners, we are doing our very best to inform and encourage our residents to get vaccinated,” she said. “We recognize there is still some hesitancy, and this is a personal decision. This is our best shot to recovering from this pandemic. The COVID-19 vaccination is safe, effective, and convenient. Protect yourself, your family, your neighbors, and your community and get vaccinated today.”

For a complete list of vaccine opportunities, visit the Will County Health Department website: https://willcountyhealth.org/vaccine-locations/. For assistance with scheduling an appointment contact the Will County call center at (815) 774-7386.

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