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Health Department begins initial Covid-19 vaccine rollout

Geneseo Republic

The Henry and Stark County Health Department and the Henry County Office of Emergency Management (OEM) is alerting area residents that they have received initial shipments of Covid-19 vaccine as of late December; and are currently following Federal and State guidelines in offering it to Tier 1a distribution groups.

Tier 1a recipients include health care workers and long-term care residents.  In accordance with the federal guidance the first to receive Covid-19 vaccinations were hospital and inpatient hospital workers at the County’s two Hospitals:  Hammond-Henry Hospital, Geneseo and St. Luke’s Medical Center, Kewanee.  The vaccine supplies were divided between the 2 hospitals; as well as, to the Health Department and the Office of Emergency Management for further distribution to area providers and clinicians and their staffs.

 Long-term care and nursing facilities have been advised to join the Federal Vaccine Program, which has contracted with CVS and Walgreens for Covid-19 vaccine distribution.  Those pharmacies will do the registered residents and staff.  The distribution under the Federal Vaccine Program started after Christmas and should continue into January.

Sandy Sommer, RN Clinical Services Director with the Health Department notes, “Tier 1b recipients will be the next phase of distribution.  This distribution will be based on continued receipt of vaccine shipments.  Tier 1b recipients may include essential frontline workers such as courthouse and highway employees, education sector employees, utilities and transportation professionals.”

Sommer adds, “The first public Covid-19 vaccine recipients would begin in the next phase to Tier 1c.  These recipients would include adults with high risk medical conditions and adults over the age of 65.  The public will be alerted immediately as soon as any community clinics are scheduled and planned for Tier 1c participants.  Simple instructions and information will then be announced so that the vaccine will able to get to the public in an orderly and proper manner. At present there is “NO WAITING LIST” or “Pre-registration List” for Tier 1c recipients; so please do not call the OEM or Health Department as our staff is needed to work on the continued distribution of the Covid-19 vaccine to our area residents in the federally mandated manner.”

The Health Department and OEM thank all our area residents for their continued support and patience during the Covid-19 vaccine distribution rollout and note that when we work together there’s nothing we cannot achieve and overcome. For more information on the Covid-19 vaccine distribution plan in Illinois go to:  http://dph.illinois.gov/covid19/vaccine-faq