CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - As mass vaccination clinics are popping up throughout the Heartland, some Missouri educators are looking at neighboring states for rapid vaccinations.
The Jackson County Health Department in Carbondale has been flooded with questions as some Missourians search nearby for a COVID-19 vaccine.
“We had a lot of calls yesterday from teachers from outside of Illinois so, that’s the point at which we were turning them away.”
Public Health Administrator Bart Hagston said the state of Illinois has now prioritized educators to be mass vaccinated as frontline essential workers.
“We support that,” he said. “We feel educators should be vaccinated and that’s what we are doing here in Jackson County and across the state of Illinois.”
That was why he believed the clinic was flooded with calls from Missouri educators who got turned away.
“It was before they made an appointment, or if they called immediately after making an appointment. It wasn’t at the vaccination sites,” he said.
Upon entering the building, residents must stop at a table before the Illinois National Guard and present their identification stating they live and or work in the state of Illinois. Afterward, they get their temperature taken and they’re able to go on back and get vaccinated.
“When somebody that is not eligible for vaccination tries to get vaccinated, then essentially they are taking a shot out of the arm of somebody who is eligible,” Hagston said.
Like essential workers, seniors and the disabled.
“Somebody else that is considered more at risk and has been more highly prioritized in the state vaccination plan,” he said.
The Jackson County Health Department will continue their mass vaccination clinic every day this week until Friday with limited availability of open appointments.