La Salle County Health Department preparing for vaccination Phase 1B, asking eligible residents to provide information

Groups eligible to receive second wave of vaccines listed

The La Salle County Health Department anticipates being able to move into Phase 1B of COVID-19 vaccinations as early as next week, including front-line essential workers and residents age 65 and older.

In the beginning stages of Phase 1B, priority will be given to individuals 65 years and older, as they have experienced the highest mortality rate. In preparation and planning, the LCHD is collecting information on the number of persons in Phase 1B, as defined by Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices and the Illinois Department of Public Health, who are eligible and intend to receive the vaccine through La Salle County.

To be notified of COVID-19 vaccination clinics in your area, the LCHD is asking anyone eligible for Phase 1B to complete the COVID-19 Vaccine Notification Sign-up form by visiting the La Salle County website at www.lasallecounty.org and clicking on the red COVID-19 vaccine icon on the right side of the page. There, you will find a green “COVID-19 Phase 1B Vaccine Notification Sign-up” link to complete the form.

After completing this form, individuals will be notified by an email from the LCHD when a clinic has been scheduled. Please complete the form as soon as possible, as clinic plans are being finalized. The email will contain a link to register for the clinic and the ability to choose an appointment time.

Clinics and appointments will be based on vaccine availability and are subject to change. Scheduled appointments are necessary because of social distancing requirements and the recommended wait time after receiving the vaccine.

Eligible persons for this phase include:

• Individuals over 65 years of age

• Front-line workers (fire, law enforcement, 911 workers, security personnel, school officers)

• Education (pre-K through 12th grade and child care: teachers, principals, support, day care workers)

• Food and agriculture (processing, plants, veterinary health, livestock services, animal care)

• Manufacturing (industrial production of goods for distribution to retail, wholesale and other manufacturing)

• Corrections workers and inmates (prison/jail officers, juvenile facility staff, workers providing in-person support, inmates)

• United States Postal Services workers

• Public transit workers (flight crew, bus drivers, train conductors, taxi drivers, ride-share service workers)

• Grocery store workers (baggers, cashiers, stockers, pickup workers, customer service)

• Shelters/adult day care (homeless shelters, women’s shelters, adult day/drop-in programs, sheltered workshops, psychosocial rehabilitation facilities)

Please note, as vaccine availability increases, vaccination recommendations will expand to include more groups. The goal is for everyone to be able to easily get a COVID-19 vaccination as soon as large quantities of vaccine are available. As vaccine supply increases but remains limited, ACIP and the IDPH will expand the groups recommended for vaccination.

J.T. Pedelty

J.T. is a graduate of Streator High School, Illinois Valley Community College and Southern Illinois University-Carbondale who is just over two decades into an award-winning sports journalism career.