SPRINGFIELD,, IL (STL.News) Building on a robust and expanding plan to improve vaccine equity and accessibility in all parts of the state, Governor JB Pritzker today announced additional state resources will be deployed to Grundy and Rock Island counties to launch local fixed and mobile vaccination sites. The additional manpower from the Illinois National Guard will enhance accessibility by increasing appointment availability for residents in these counties and support mobile vaccination operations in these counties to offer direct assistance to underserved communities. These local sites will be limited to residents in their respective counties at this time to increase county vaccination rates.
“I’m proud to deploy Illinois National Guard teams and additional state resources to Grundy and Rock Island to ensure residents in these counties can receive their vaccines as efficiently and equitably as possible,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “One in six Illinoisans have already received their first dose of vaccine, and as the federal government prepares to increase Illinois’ deliveries to over 100,000 a day in the coming weeks, IDPH and our 97 local health departments are prepared to meet the moment. In the meantime, I encourage all Illinoisans to wear their masks and stay vigilant as we power through to the other side of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
As of March 5, there were more than 1,200 Illinois National Guard service members assisting with COVID-19 response throughout Illinois. Throughout the pandemic, Governor JB Pritzker has called upon the Illinois National Guard as a crucial component of the state’s COVID-19 response efforts to assist local health departments with everything from testing to vaccinating. With the mass vaccination sites and the mobile teams, the National Guard is supporting more than 60 vaccination locations each day.
“The Grundy County Health Department is grateful for the support of the Illinois National Guard to assist in local vaccination efforts. Through this partnership, additional resources are expected to arrive in Grundy so as to increase the number of individuals who can receive COVID-19 vaccine each week.” said Grundy County Public Health Administrator Michelle Pruim. “The Illinois National Guard will be working alongside the Grundy County Health Department, partner agencies and local volunteers to safely and effectively administer doses as they become available to Grundy County.”
“The Rock Island County Health Department is grateful for the support of the Illinois National Guard to expand COVID-19 vaccination opportunities in our community. Through this partnership, additional resources will be provided to increase significantly the number of residents who can receive the COVID-19 vaccine each week in our county,” said Rock Island County Public Health Administrator Nita Ludwig. “We are pleased that the National Guard will be here to help run another mass vaccination effort. With this joint operation, health department staff, our Medical Reserve Corps and our healthcare partners will continue to offer our weekly mass vaccination clinics on Tuesdays and to offer targeted clinics for those in our community who have a greater risk of serious COVID-19 complications and death.”
“I have been working closely with community leaders, the Governor’s Office and IDPH to bring a mass vaccination site to Grundy County. We all share the goal of making vaccines available as rapidly as possible to every area resident who wants or needs one,” said Rep. David Welter (R-Morris). “Countless lives will be saved and together we will hasten the end of the pandemic in our community and our state; thanks to the extraordinary efforts of our frontline health care workers and the teamwork that put the infrastructure together here at the local level to make today’s announcement possible.”
“Adding a second COVID vaccine distribution in Rock Island County is critical to meet the needs of those most vulnerable in our region,” said Rep. McCombie (R-Rock Falls). “The Camden Centre in Milan will be an ideal venue to efficiently and successfully distribute vaccines. I appreciate our part of the State being included.”
Update on Mass Vaccination Efforts
This week will mark an important milestone in the state’s Mass Vaccination efforts as the federal-run Community Vaccination Center opens on Wednesday at the United Center.
There are now more than 880 vaccination locations in Illinois open to the public. While the state is working to increase the number of vaccines administered daily, it is limited by the amount of vaccine available and allocated by the federal government.
The State Supported Mass Vaccination Sites are open to all Illinois residents, who meet the current eligibility requirements and have an appointment through the local health department.