Kendall County Health Department plans for next COVID-19 vaccination phase

Essential workers, elderly will be able to register through health department website

The Kendall County Health Department hopes to start COVID-19 vaccinations for the elderly and essential workers next week, with a mass vaccination campaign just around the corner, the top county health official has announced.

With vaccinations for health care workers coming to a close, the health department expects a shipment of 500 new doses in the coming days, RaeAnn VanGundy, KCHD executive director, said. Once in phase 1b, health officials will start inoculations for residents older than 65 and essential workers at a mobile vaccination clinic in the new Yorkville government center.

Those eligible for vaccinations under phase 1b can fill out a survey registering themselves on the county website. Health officials then will contact residents, referring them back to the website to schedule vaccinations through a new software program set to launch next week, VanGundy said.

As for mass vaccinations, the county likely will need several thousand doses before it can begin vaccinating the county’s broader population at an eventual site at Yorkville High School.

“There’s going to be this fine dance,” VanGundy said at a County Board meeting Thursday, Jan. 14. “Trying to figure out what number it’s going to take in order for us to engage that mass vaccination – it’s going to be a little bit tricky.”

VanGundy said the health department, Yorkville School District 115 and local law enforcement already have coordinated for the launch of the mass vaccination site on a moment’s notice.

“It’s going to happen to where we get the call or email on Wednesday saying we have this many doses,” VanGundy explained. “I‘ve prepared everybody at the school and with law enforcement, saying we have to be prepared to then hold that clinic on Saturday. So it’s going to be a quick turnaround.”

As of Sunday, Jan. 17, 1,311 Kendall County residents or 1.02% of the county’s population had been fully vaccinated for COVID-19, according to Illinois Department of Public Health data.

Only six other counties in Illinois have a higher percentage of their populations fully vaccinated, the IDPH data shows.

DuPage County has the highest percentage of its population vaccinated at 1.26% followed by Knox at 1.19%, Winnebago at 1.11%, Kankakee at 1.08%, Clinton at 1.07% and Adams at 1.06%.

Statewide, 104,928 Illinois residents have been fully vaccinated for COVID-19 or 0.82% of the state’s total population as of Sunday, according to the IDPH.

At the Jan. 14 county board meeting, County Board Chairman Scott Gryder commended the health department for coordinating a countywide vaccination campaign.

“We’ve had a lot of phone calls, meetings, conversations over the last couple of weeks,” Gryder said. “In addition to all the hard work that the health department has done to get ready for this, to marshal the resources of the county, as well as to make sure we’re ready and we’re in a position to get these vaccines out to where they need to go.”