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County Announces Pair of Community Vaccination Clinics
Tammy Reiher

County Announces Pair of Community Vaccination Clinics

Will serve residents age 65+, First Responders, Teachers in Wilmington and Monee to win battle against COVID-19

JOLIET – The Will County Executive Office and Will County Health Department today announced another milestone in beating the COVID-19 virus by opening Community Vaccination Clinics in Wilmington beginning the week of March 22 and Monee beginning the week of March 29.

The two locations will provide access to vaccinations for residents and workers in Will County who qualify under Phase1B.

“Access to vaccinations is vital to winning the battle against the devastating effect of COVID-19 and getting our county back to normal,” said Jennifer Bertino Tarrant, County Executive. “These two clinics will provide critical access to our people who live and work in Will County.”

                                                                                  

The clinics will provide vaccinations by appointment only, will be open Tuesday-Sunday and will begin vaccinating residents who qualify under Phase 1B.

“The opening of these two clinics will allow the Will County Health Department’s Vaccine Action Team to triple our current vaccination capacity,” said Sue Olenek, Executive Director of the Will County Health Department. “We want to encourage everyone who meets the criteria for Phase IB to register for the vaccination clinics at WillCountyHealth.org.”

Will County residents who qualify for Phase 1B and are registered and live in southern or eastern Will County will receive an email, text or phone call with an invitation to schedule their appointment at their respective clinic.

Phase 1B includes residents 65 or older and essential frontline workers.  This includes first responders, teachers, postal service workers, grocery story workers, public transit workers, manufacturing workers, food and agriculture workers, shelters/adult day care staff and residents.  Visit WillCountyHealth.org for a complete list of eligible people.

“We are grateful to the Health Department for recognizing the lack of current vaccination locations in our area and opening this clinic so that our most vulnerable residents can get an appointment to be vaccinated,” said Joe Van Duyne, County Board member from Wilmington.

The Wilmington Community Vaccine Clinic will be conducted at St. Rose Church beginning March 22.  In order to protect the health of all attending the clinic, there will be no walk-ins accepted. Those seeking to schedule an appointment must pre-register at WillCountyHealth.org and receive an invitation to schedule their appointment.

“I want to thank the members of St. Rose Church who are partnering with the Health Department for opening their doors to our community so that we can vaccinate as many as possible each day,” said Don Gould, County Board member from Shorewood.

Residents with questions about vaccinations at St. Rose should call the Will County COVID-19 Hotline at (815) 740-8977 and not the church.

“The opening of these clinics is a significant step toward protecting our older residents plus our first responders, teachers and essential workers who have been braving the risks of COVID-19 over the past year,” said Sherry Newquist, County Board member from Steger. “And the clinics also represent hope for all of us that we are beginning to turn the corner and win the fight against COVID-19.”

The Monee Vaccination Clinic will occur at the former Second Place Church located off West Monee-Manhattan Road, 6370 W. Emerald Parkway, Monee.  This will also be by appointment only.  To register for the clinic, residents should also sign up at WillCountyHealth.org.

“I want to encourage all those eligible to register as soon as possible so that we can get the vaccine to you,” said County Board member Judy Ogalla from Monee. “With this new vaccination clinic, our senior residents and frontline workers will have access right here in our community thanks to the collaboration among the Health Department and local leaders.”

As more vaccines are allocated to Will County by the state there will be more clinics announced so that the Will County Health Department can ensure equitable access to vaccinations throughout Will County and its vulnerable populations.

These clinics are not the only locations for vaccines in Will County. In addition to the Health Department Community Vaccination Clinics, there are local pharmacies and other organizations who are working with the Health Department to deliver vaccines.  For a complete list of locations visit WillCountyHealth.org.

As of March 9, 49,180 people, or 7.10 percent, of the Will County population had been fully vaccinated with both doses. There have been 150,044 vaccines administered to residents in Phase IA and IB, which includes frontline healthcare workers who began getting vaccines in December 2020.

“The only thing keeping Will County from providing more vaccines at more locations is the supply that we are being given by the State of Illinois,” said County Executive Bertino-Tarrant. “Will County is the fourth most populated county in Illinois, but we are in 90th place in receiving our fair share of vaccines. The County Board and Health Board are in constant contact with Governor’s Office and the Illinois Department of Health to advocate for a more equitable distribution of vaccines to Will County.”

The Will County Health Department is scheduled to receive vaccines from the State of Illinois each week. When it receives the vaccines, they are distributed based on first and second dose allocations to the clinics administered by the Health Department and to over 30 community partners.

“We are turning the vaccines around and making them available through our clinics and our partners within 24 hours of receiving them,” said Olenek. “We are working around the clock to get every person possible vaccinated.”

For complete information on the County’s vaccination plans, visit WillCountyHealth.org.

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