MT. VERNON, IL — Jefferson County residents can start scheduling appointments to receive the COVID-19 vaccine January 25th. According to the Jefferson County Health Department, who received its first shipment of the vaccine at the end of December and was able to begin vaccinating healthcare personnel as part of Phase 1A. Health officials have been giving the vaccine by appointment at their office with a full schedule every day to this group.

Illinois will officially move into Phase 1B on January 25th. Phase 1B includes essential workers and people 65 and older. First responders, like police and firefighters, corrections officers; food and agricultural workers, like those at food processing plants; grocery store workers, public transit employees, like flight crews and bus drivers; educators, such as teachers and school staff members; along with workers at shelters and adult day care would all fall under Phase 1B. JCHD is currently working with local schools on the plan to vaccinate all school personnel.

The JCHD can now begin focusing on those 65 and older by scheduling appointments when available. Currently, appointments are limited so the health department will be giving second doses to healthcare personnel in the office in the coming weeks as well as contacting other healthcare providers in the area to transfer some vaccine to those approved by the state so that they can assist with the vaccinations. It is the state’s plan to soon have the vaccine available at pharmacies that have signed up to be providers.

This all will give county residents who wish to be vaccinated more options available locally.