Eager For A COVID-19 Shot? Keep An Eye On Sangamon Health Department’s Website, Facebook Page

Jan 15, 2021

Credit Memorial Health System

Sangamon County seniors over 65 and essential workers eager to get their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine should keep an eye on the county health department’s website and Facebook page.

The Sangamon County Department of Public Health will announce new availability of appointments for the shots on those channels in the coming days and weeks, as well as inform local news outlets, according to county spokesperson Jeff Wilhite.

However, the timeline for vaccines to become available locally is still unclear. Wilhite said new slots could be announced as early as this weekend. The county’s COVID-19 hotline instructs callers to check the website “in a few days.”

County officials say they’re waiting on more shipments from the state of Illinois, which receives shipments from the federal stockpile of both the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines, before opening up more appointments.

IDPH has been receiving around 120,000 doses weekly, evenly split between the two vaccines, said Heidi Clark, IDPH's chief of the division of infectious diseases, at a webinar Friday hosted by the University of Illinois Springfield.

After some doses are allocated to CVS and Walgreens' program for long-term care facilities, Clark said IDPH divides up the remaining doses among counties. The division is based on a "COVID Community Vulnerability Index," which includes access to healthcare systems, socioeconomic stats and epidemiological factors. 

Sangamon County opened vaccination appointments earlier this week for healthcare workers as well as those in the next priority group: seniors over 65, teachers, police officers, postal workers, grocery store employees, those who work in shelters, and correctional officers and inmates, among others. Those who qualify in Phase 1a and 1b can be found on IDPH's website

All appointments through January 31 are already booked, according to the county.

All of the doses the department currently has are allocated to appointments in the coming weeks, Sangamon County Department of Public Health director Gail O’Neill said this week.

Appointments can be made on the county’s website or by calling the COVID-19 hotline, 217-321-2606.

The health department released its vaccination plan earlier this week. It aims to give 290 doses daily at its clinic. The clinic is open seven days a week, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For now, it’s inside the health department at 2833 South Grand Ave. E., but will move to a drive-thru clinic next week.

Trackers on the county and state health departments’ websites show more than 10,000 doses have been administered in Sangamon County. More than 1,000 people have gotten both shots.

Update: Appointments are now booked through the end of the month. County officials said earlier this week they were booked through Jan. 24.