BREAKING: Kendall County seeks volunteers to assist in mass COVID-19 vaccination program

Health department has placed application form on its website

The Kendall County Health Department announced Thursday evening, Dec. 3, that it is seeking volunteers to assist in a mass COVID-19 vaccination program.

In a statement, health department officials said, "Due to the size of this pandemic and the response, many volunteers will be needed. Interested volunteers will support public health efforts to ensure as many people as possible are vaccinated. Individuals who are licensed to deliver vaccinations are needed, as well as individuals proficient at data entry and other supportive roles."

Prospective volunteers are asked to log onto the health department's website at kendallhealth.org and complete an application form.

Illinois regional health centers are expected to receive the first shipment of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine Dec. 10, Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike told county and municipal leaders from across the state during a conference call Thursday morning.

Illinois will receive 109,000 doses of the vaccine in the first shipment from a federal supply with 23,000 expected to go to Chicago and 86,000 set to go across the rest of the state, according to McHenry County Chairman Jack Franks who was on the call.

Ezike told the group that the vaccines then must be used within five days of receipt to avoid issues with the cold storage requirements.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is scheduled to consider approval of the vaccine for emergency use Dec. 10.

Illinois is scheduled to receive an additional 250,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccines the week of Dec. 17 and 300,000 the week of Christmas. The Pfizer vaccine requires two doses to achieve maximum protection.

If the Moderna vaccine receives emergency-use approval from the FDA, an additional 700,000 doses of that vaccine could be distributed by the end of the year, Ezike said on the call.

Areas with higher percentage COVID-19 death rates will be prioritized as vaccines are distributed, she said.

The first vaccines are set to go to health care workers, hospital teams, first responders and long-term care residents. They will be restricted to those 18 and older.

Like the rest of Illinois, Kendall County has experienced a surge in COVID-19 cases and deaths over the past month, according to health department data.

On Thursday, the health department reported 217 new COVID-19 cases in the county, the most yet in a single day since the onset of the pandemic last March.

Also over the past 48 hours, the health department has reported the deaths of eight county residents from COVID-19. The total number of county residents to have died from the virus as of Thursday stood at 50.

John Etheredge

Covering Kendall County news since 1981