Have patience, vaccine process will pick up soon, county officials say

To date, Madison County Health Department has administered more than 15,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses and stresses patience as the rollout is expected to take several months.

“We understand people are frustrated trying to get vaccine appointments,” Chairman Kurt Prenzler said. “We assure everyone there will be enough vaccines for those who live and work in Madison County to receive one.”

Prenzler said that as the eighth largest county in the state, an estimated 50,000 people are eligible for Phase 1b. As of today, more than 15,000 doses have been administered in the county.

Madison County Public Health Department Director Toni Corona said on Thursday the county is opening up its online scheduler and phone number for individuals to schedule a vaccination appointment who did not complete the survey in January. She said for those who did complete the survey there is no need to do anything and the health department will contact the person when it’s their turn.

“Residents should know it could take time to get an appointment,” Corona said. “Due to the number of people desiring the vaccine, it will take months to get all individuals scheduled.”

Additional dates and times will continue to be added o the online scheduler as the vaccine is received.

The state allocates the number of vaccines given to the county. The Illinois Department of Public Health is reporting that county’s current inventory is 12,592 doses; which all have been allocated.

As of today, IDPH reported the county’s inventory includes 10,674 doses for the local health department (health department clinics and hospitals) and 1,918 doses for the community based sites (Walgreens and CVS.)

The vaccination process requires people to take two doses at different times.

“The idea the county is sitting on any vaccine is false,” Madison County Public Health Director Toni Corona said. “All the vaccine doses are accounted for and the appointments to administer them are scheduled for the near future.”

Corona told the Health Advisory Committee on Tuesday that state plans to call in the National Guard to assist with upcoming vaccination clinics. She said that the county remains in the midst of a pandemic response and people should still take precautions even after receiving the first dose of the vaccine.

Visit https://www.co.madison.il.us/departments/health/index.php for more information.

File photo: Madison County Public Health Director Toni Corona, left, and Chairman Kurt Prenzler.

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