CARBONDALE, Ill. (KFVS) - In southern Illinois, the Jackson County Health Department is opening up COVID-19 vaccinations to anyone 16 and older.
Bart Hagston, with the Jackson County Health Department, said anyone 16 and older are now eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations. He said the whole purpose of this mission is to protect Illinoisans.
“We were starting to see some appointments remain open, so we felt like moving to this open eligibility would help fill those open appointments. Allow us to move on with the vaccination mission, get shots in arms and get people protected more quickly,” said Hagston.
The state gave the health department permission to open it up after a slowdown in vaccination appointments.
“I think it’s a big step, people have perceived all along to getting vaccinated, it could not be simpler now to get vaccinated here at our two sites,” he said.
The health department vaccinated a majority of the primary groups that were eligible at the time.
“We have vaccinated quite a few people in Jackson county and those coming into Jackson County,” Hagston said. “We’ve hit roughly 70 percent of the people 65 and over, we’ve hit a significant portion of those people 16-64 with the underlying health conditions.”
Jackson County ranks second out of 102 Illinois counties for vaccination rates; and now, the two mass vaccination sites in Jackson County are open to anyone in the state.
“We are here to vaccinate any Illinois resident, no matter where they live or a resident even of another state, if they work in Illinois, they can prove to us provide documentation that they do work in Illinois,” said Hagston.
The health department has multiple openings. That can be found on the Health Department’s website.
Sixteen and 17 year olds may only receive the Pfizer vaccine and must be accompanied by an adult.
Adults 18 and older may choose any of the three different vaccines that are available.