COVID-19 vaccine clinic held at Heartland truck stops

Updated: May. 30, 2021 at 8:31 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

MOUNT VERNON, Ill. (KFVS) - This weekend, while making a stop for gas you can also get a COVID-19 vaccine. The Illinois Emergency Management Agency is partnering with companies to make vaccination clinics readily available for travelers.

IEMA partnered with Amtrak, Walmart, TravelCenters of America, Wally’s, and HyVee, to host vaccination clinics at Union Station and at travel centers in Troy, Effingham, Bloomington, Pontiac, and Mt. Vernon.

The Travel Centers of America in Mount Vernon was one of four mobile locations offering the Johnson and Johnson (J&J) vaccine. In efforts to vaccinate travelers in the quickest and easiest way possible

“I was surprised to see a bus giving away free vaccines,” Damon McCormick said.

At the TravelCenters of America in Mount Vernon stood this bus. Giving away the J&J vaccine to travelers. McCormick is one of just 10 people who receive a COVID-19 vaccine on Saturday.

“I didn’t want to take it. I asked the lady to convince me that I needed to and she did,” McCormick said.

He said he did it for one reason, his service dog, Vato.

“I found out my dog could catch it,” McCormick said.

McCormick said he caught COVID-19 in January and worried if he caught it again, it would affect more than just him

“I was sick for about 10 days, but I couldn’t even walk for 6 months. I lost at least 100 pounds, he will catch it if I catch it,” McCormick said.

Health officials at this site explained, despite giving the one shot Johnson and Johnson shot, they’re still having difficulty administering the vaccine.

“I figured it would be better, and I can be fully vaccinated. I can go see my parents and not have to worry about making either one of them sick,” Stacey Hargrove said.

Hargrove, who works just steps away from the vaccine site, is one of three people vaccinated this Memorial Day weekend.

“It being out here, it’s a little easier access to get to it here because I work 50 hours a week. So, I can just run out here and get it now,” Hargrove said.

Despite to small turnout, Hargrove and McCormick say they hope to see more clinic like these.

“I do know I didn’t feel good, and I don’t want my dog feeling like that,” McCormick said.

“Just to stay safe against this disease. Be able to resume life as normal for businesses to be able to stay open,” Hargrove said.

The clinic will be available Memorial Day and Tuesday from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., in Mount Vernon on exit 95 along I-64 and along I-70.

The shot will also be offered at other TravelCenters of America in Illinois including, Mount Vernon, Pontiac, Troy, Effington, and Bloomington. Along with Union station along I-55.

No appointments are needed and vaccines are free.

Copyright 2021 KFVS. All rights reserved.