Counties in Central Illinois still have low vaccination rates

Local News

VERMILION COUNTY, Ill. (WCIA) – Some counties in Central Illinois are dealing with low vaccination rates.

Fewer than 33 percent of people are vaccinated in Vermilion County. The public health administration is frustrated with that. He said people have had plenty of opportunities to get the shot.

Earlier in the year and late last year, they had clinics going. They even had the Illinois National Guard in to help, but eventually demand for the vaccine fell.

The 2019 census said Vermilion County has a population of more than 75,000 people. Right now, the state’s website said over 46,000 COVID-19 vaccines have been given in the county.

“I don’t think we’ve hit 33% yet,” Douglas Toole, public health administrator for the county, said.

The state reports they haven’t, and it’s not because of lack of resources or trying on the county’s part.

“We were fortunate enough to have the Illinois National Guard here for 3 months. They did about 100 clinics with us for vaccinating people. At some point, Carle had 7 day a week clinics at the village mall. I know OSF had really robust clinics, but really, we backed away from those because demand just hasn’t been there,” he said.

That’s because people have decided not to get the vaccine.

Toole and health officials across the country continue to say it’s the only way we can get out of the pandemic.

Some people in Vermilion County agree.

“I really believe that people need to take the shot. Like I said, if you get the virus, you’re going to take a chance at dying anyway, cause it can kill you,” Douglas Bloomfield said.

Others said they’ll take the shot on their own terms, but not if it’s mandated.

“I don’t like it. I think it’s like taking our rights away,” Curtis Thompon said.

Toole said if you’re worried, you should talk to a health care professional.

“If you’re not getting it because you just don’t think it’s a good idea, then talk to your doctor, talk to someone at the health department, talk to someone who’s medical perspective you trust and run it past them. Maybe in your particular health situation it’s a bad idea, but maybe it’s not. Maybe it’s a good idea,” he said.

There are still plenty of opportunities for you to get vaccination in Vermilion County and across the state. You can find locations, here.

Vermilion County is offering these COVID vaccination clinics.  You can visit their website, www.vchd.org, for registration information, or call 217-431-2662 ext. 249 to make an appointment.

Upcoming clinics at the Health Department will be:

  • August 4th (Johnson and Johnson ONLY from 10-12)  Walk-ins no later than 11:30. 
  • August 11th (Moderna from 10-12)  Walk-ins no later than 11:30.
  • September 8th (Moderna from 10-12)  Walk-ins no later than 11:30.

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