McHenry County Department of Health to expand vaccine eligibility April 12

Expansion aligns county with statewide move to allow anyone 16 and older to receive a COVID-19 vaccine

The McHenry County Department of Health will allow any McHenry County residents 16 and older to receive the Pfizer vaccine at its clinics starting Monday, it said in a news release Thursday.

The extended eligibility is in line with state of Illinois’ vaccination plan to open COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to all residents on Monday.

The Pfizer vaccine is the only vaccine currently approved for use for those 16 and 17 years old. Both Moderna and Johnson & Johnson are limited to those 18 and older by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

A parent or guardian must accompany anyone younger than 18 to both their first- and second-dose appointments and sign a consent form during each visit, according to the release. They also must present proof of birth date at the time of their appointment.

Regardless of age, a photo ID and proof of residency or employment within McHenry County must be presented at a first-dose appointment, according to the release. For those receiving the second dose, a photo ID and the vaccination card must be presented.

If this information is not provided at the time of the appointment, the health department can deny the vaccination, according to the release.

“We have made great progress in getting residents vaccinated since we received our first doses at the end of December, and we are excited to be opening appointments to everyone age 16 and older,” McHenry County Public Health Administrator Melissa Adamson said in the release. “This expansion moves us closer to the goal of getting all eligible residents vaccinated as quickly as possible to help protect our community and loved ones from a potentially deadly virus.”

As of Thursday, 143,468 vaccine doses have been administered to McHenry County residents, according to state data. An estimated 16.8% of the county’s population was fully vaccinated, meaning they received all of the doses recommended for the vaccine they received.

For information about where to get a vaccination in McHenry County, go to the McHenry County Department of Health’s Vaccine Locations page at bit.ly/MCHDVaccineLocations.

To search for available COVID-19 vaccine appointments at an McHenry County Department of Health-run clinic, go to the COVID-19 Vaccine Registration page at covidvaccination.dph.illinois.gov.

Those without internet or who need assistance can call the county’s COVID-19 Call Center at 815-334-4045. The call center is open 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Local pharmacies are another option for receiving vaccine, according to the news release. Locations of pharmacies offering vaccination appointments can be found at coronavirus.illinois.gov. Eligibility and scheduling requirements may vary by location.

For help scheduling an appointment at a pharmacy, call the Illinois COVID-19 Vaccine Call Center at 833-621-1284.

“Everyone is encouraged to check the COVID-19 Vaccine Registration site frequently as new clinics and appointments are added regularly. We also encourage everyone to explore all options in the community to get vaccinated and take the first appointment that becomes available to them,” Adamson said in the release.