MATTOON — Illinois residents who live outside of Coles County will be eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations scheduled to take place at Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center Friday and Saturday.
The Coles County Health Department announced the additional eligibility for the clinics being conducted through an Illinois National Guard vaccination program.
Advance registration is required for the clinics, which are scheduled for 9 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. both days. The clinics will be open to Illinois residents age 18 and older.
Registration is available at https://events.juvare.com/IL-IDPH/0d751a4a-cc7e-4664-bdc7-71ca10787536/.
County health department Administrator Diana Stenger said the decision to open the clinics to people outside of Coles County was based on vaccine availability and appointments scheduled as of Thursday.
The clinics will take place in SBLHC’s Lumpkin Family Center for Education on the north side of the hospital. The Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine will be used.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker reiterated Thursday that all Illinois residents age 16 and older will be eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine beginning Monday, April 12, as vaccine supply – but also virus transmission rates and hospitalizations – continues to increase.
The decision to move to universal adult eligibility at each of the state’s more than 1,000 vaccination sites outside the city of Chicago comes as a result of increased availability of vaccine doses, Pritzker said.
“We have everything we need to get to the other side of this crisis as vaccine shipments increase and more Americans are ready to be vaccinated,” Pritzker said during a Thursday news conference. “Our fight to stay safe and protect ourselves isn’t over, but with each day and each dose, we move closer and closer to putting this pandemic to an end.”
To date, 73% of Illinois seniors and 42% of Illinoisans 16 and over have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and over 2.5 million, or 20% of Illinois residents, had been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as of Wednesday.
The state has administered over 6.7 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine thus far and set a single-day record for vaccines administered with 154,201 doses Wednesday.
But virus transmission rates also continued to increase Thursday as the vast majority of Illinoisans are short of full vaccination.
Public health officials reported an additional 3,739 new cases of COVID-19 statewide out of 97,741 test results reported over the previous 24 hours. The state’s seven-day rolling positivity rate stood at 4.2% Thursday, the highest since Jan. 30 and up 0.7 percentage points from one week ago.
In Coles County, health officials announced seven new positive cases on Thursday. The new cases brought the county’s total since the start of the pandemic to 5,601.
More information about the COVID-19 vaccine and appointment availability can be found at coronavirus.illinois.gov or by calling 833-621-1284.
Capitol News Illinois contributed to this report.