KANKAKEE – Area schools could be vaccinated by the first week of February. That announcement came this morning during an Executive Committee Meeting of the Kankakee County Board.
“Throughout the next two weeks, we’re going to be vaccinating all the schools. We’ve already scheduled most of those clinics and we’re going to be going off-site to those locations.” Kankakee Health Department Administrator John Bevis said Tuesday morning. “We’re sending the nurses. We haven’t needed to get any additional help yet for that. We anticipate having the schools done by the first week in February.”
Schools have been setting up areas inside gymnasiums for workers to sit aside for up to half an hour after being vaccinated. The wait is designed as an observation period to watch for rare allergic reactions ranging from hives to anaphylactic shock and can be quickly treated with other medications such as Benadryl.
While vaccines are still in a limited supply, a COVID-19 vaccine clinic is scheduled for today at the Kankakee Health Department where some 260 people will receive their second shot of the vaccine.
Additionally, local doctors and pharmacists can now register with ICARES to order the vaccine.
“We have a number of facilities within the county who are becoming registered. Many of the doctor’s offices can do this; they’re already registered for example as flu shot givers and other vaccines they give in their practices. So the goal is hopefully as we go a few months out we have more physicians’ offices, pharmacists within the grocery stores, the hospitals, and the health department that are going to be providing this vaccine.” Bevis explained Tuesday.
The Health Department is already working with local Jewel and Meijer locations to contact individuals meeting Phase 1B qualifications. The state entered Phase 1B of the vaccination plan on Monday, which made some 3.2 million Illinois residents eligible to receive the mRNA vaccine.
“This 1B Phase is going to take a couple of months probably, as best we can tell. As things start to wind down the State will move us into 1C,” Bevis said.
A local Information Virtual COVID-19 Vaccination Town Hall has been scheduled for February 16th from 6-7 pm. If you haven’t registered in Kankakee County, you can do so by clicking here or call the COVID vaccine registration survey phone number at 815-802-9449 and leave information with the department to reserve your slot or a slot for other family members.