The first 528 doses of vaccine for were shipped in mid-December and were provided to health care staff at Passavant Area Hospital as well as other health care providers in the community.
Director of the Morgan Jacksonville Office of Emergency Management, Phil McCarty says so far, distribution of the vaccine in Morgan County has gone smoothly, with area health care providers set to receive their second dose of the vaccine late this week.
“The week of December 17th we received our first Pfizer allocation. Passavant Memorial Hospital provided that to their health care provider staff as well as their community providers, and our second allocation, as we speak right now, is being provided to the 1a providers of the community. The 1a providers is a very extensive list but a lot of that is just directly health care providers in general.”
According to a vaccine joint update today from the Morgan County Health Department, along with assistance from the Jacksonville Fire Department and Jacksonville/Morgan County EMA, will be operating a restricted distribution point for those within Morgan County who fall within the Illinois Department of Public Health’s 1a allocation group today and next Tuesday, January 12th.
Currently more than over 200 of those providers are registered to obtain the vaccine.
McCarty says all of the doses provided in December are being administered as first round doses.
“We don’t hold anything back for the second round. We trust our federal partners that they are going to come through with it and they have. We are picking up dose number two from the first round tomorrow. That part is working. We are moving forward.”
First round doses are being provided at the joint distribution point today. The Morgan County Health Department is following the IDPH guidelines for vaccine allocation and eventual movement to the next group, 1b. According to the guidelines, currently no specific time has been set to move to the next group, and require that these phases must be followed until wide spread vaccine availability is obtained.
Morgan County Health officials say at this time, the focus is ensuring that those who are within group 1a all have access to the vaccine. Group 1a includes health care workers in hospitals, medial outpatient facilities, public health clinics, skilled nursing and assisted living facilities, residential care adult homes among others.
McCarty says anyone who feels they fall within the 1a population and have not been offered the vaccine should contact the joint COVID response via email.
“If somebody feels they need a vaccine and they are a health care provider, they should email us at COVID vaccine at Jacksonvilleil.gov. Calling the health department really just slows the process down. We are taxed out and we are operating at full efficiency and we are wanting to get vaccine in arms and such. So, emailing us if they feel they have been skipped is the best way to get a hold of us.”
McCarty says community members are encouraged to pay attention to local media, social media, and the Morgan County Health Department’s website for updates for people who might be eligible for the vaccine.
The federal government has a partnership with CVS and Walgreens to provide COVID-19 vaccine for the long term care community and staff within Morgan County. This program is currently underway and those in the long term care locations within Morgan County will be getting their first doses within the next two weeks.