COVID-19 Vaccine

Senator Tammy Duckworth is encouraging all Illinoisans to get the COVID-19 vaccines for the sake of the community.

In a virtual town hall Thursday night, leaders including Duckworth and Illinois Department of Public Health Director Ngozi Ezike stressed the need for vaccines. Duckworth emphasized the need for people to work as a community and get vaccinated to protect each other, especially those too young to get the shot. Ezike encouraged those who have already been vaccinated to reach out to friends and neighbors.

On normal days, the gym at this Indianapolis school would be filled with kids in phys ed classes. But last Saturday it was the scene of a pop-up vaccination clinic.

And the mood was just as up-beat. One nurse brought her husband to the KIPP Indy Legacy High School to get vaccinated — to cheers from everyone around.

At the entrance to the gym, volunteers used laptops to help people check in. Most got their shots without a wait. After all, community workers had pre-registered 200 area residents to make the experience as easy as possible.

**UPDATED to include information on postponed J&J Vaccine clinics**

As of Monday, April 12, anyone 16 and older is eligible for a COVID Vaccine in Illinois.

State and county health departments are partnering with health providers and pharmacies to help administer COVID-19 vaccine. Here is our list for the week of April 12-18:

Appointments also available through Illinois' COVID Vaccine Registration Page

Local Health Departments Pause Johnson & Johnson Vaccine

Apr 13, 2021

Health departments across Illinois are pausing administration of the Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine.

The FDA and CDC recommended states hold off on distributing the shot after 6 women who received the vaccine developed a rare blood clotting disorder. Nearly 7 million people in the US have received the Johnson and Johnson vaccine so far. Jackson County Health Department administrator Bart Hagston said the blood clotting disorder is extremely rare, and those who have had the vaccine more than three weeks ago shouldn’t be worried.

State Pausing use of Johnson & Johnson Vaccine per Federal Recommendations

Apr 13, 2021

On advice of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Illinois will pause distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine developed by Johnson & Johnson.

The federal agencies made that recommendation Tuesday morning after reporting rare and severe blood clots in six people who had taken the vaccine. The CDC and FDA are reviewing the data regarding those cases.

On a recent Saturday, a mass COVID-19 vaccination clinic is in full swing at the Corinthian Baptist Church in Des Moines.

People sit patiently, scattered throughout the church’s pews for the required 15 minute waiting period after their shot.

In the dimly lit room, they face a stained glass mural. It serves as a reminder of the church’s significance in the Black community. It depicts scenes like slaves arriving from Africa, Black church choirs and civil rights leaders.

State Tops Single-Day Vaccine Record at 154,201 as Universal Eligibility Nears

Apr 8, 2021

Gov. JB 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.

More than 80 of the state’s 102 counties have already opened eligibility to individuals age 16 and over in advance of the April 12 eligibility expansion date.

State and county health departments are partnering with health providers and pharmacies to help administer COVID-19 vaccine. Here is our list for the week of April 4-12:

Appointments also available through Illinois' COVID Vaccine Registration Page

State and county health departments are partnering with health providers and pharmacies to help administer COVID-19 vaccine. Here is our list for the week of March 29-April 3:

State Authorizes Counties to Expand Vaccine Eligibility Early

Mar 26, 2021
Jerry Nowicki of Capitol News Illinois

Areas of the state may begin vaccinating those 16 years of age or older earlier than anticipated as vaccine demand slows under current guidelines and COVID-19 hospitalizations and cases see an uptick.

Vaccine eligibility is not set to open statewide until April 12, but in response to an increase in cases, Gov. JB Pritzker announced that local health departments seeing low vaccine demand can expand eligibility to all who are 16 and older. The state also announced the deployment of five mobile teams to combat a surge in northwest Illinois.

Pritzker Vaccinated as Positivity Rate Rises

Mar 24, 2021
Capitol News Illinois photo by Jerry Nowicki

Gov. JB Pritzker received a COVID-19 vaccine and briefly took questions from reporters at the Illinois State Fairgrounds on Wednesday as the state’s seven-day rolling average COVID-19 positivity rate ticked up to its highest point since Feb. 11.

The 2.8 percent case positivity rate represented an increase of 0.3 percent from the day prior and 0.7 percent from its low of 11 days earlier – a 25 percent increase in that span. There were 1,261 hospital beds in use for COVID-19 as of Tuesday night, roughly level from the day prior but a 14 percent increase since March 12. There were 269 intensive care unit beds in use by COVID-19 patients and 130 ventilators, both near their highs of the month.

As more COVID vaccine doses are shipped across the country, our region is seeing an up-tick in clinics being scheduled.

File photo from

A temporary vaccination site will be held at Heartland Regional Medical Center in Marion on Monday, March 22nd from 9 am through 7 pm.

Up to 300 doses will be distributed. Appointments are required. To sign up, go to the IDPH website and use the code SPARCHRMC0322. Or call the IDPH vaccine hotline at (833) 621-1284. English and Spanish speaking operators will be available to assist.

The Franklin-Williamson Bi-County Health Department will offer walk-in mass vaccination clinics just for those 65 and older at the Pavilion in Marion and the VF Outlet Store in West Frankfort.

Southern 7 Health Dept.

Southern Seven Health Department is hosting a COVID-19 vaccination clinic to administer the one-dose Johnson and Johnson vaccine.

Southern Illinois Sees Vaccine Surplus

Mar 9, 2021
File photo from

While many people in Illinois are struggling to get the COVID-19 vaccine, Southern Illinois has recently had a surplus.

Part of the reason for the availability is that Jackson County has partnered with the state, and is receiving additional vaccine supply under that program.

Jackson County Health Department administrator Bart Hagston said the eligibility is still limited to those in groups 1A, 1B and 1B plus, because individual counties can't move to the next stage ahead of the state.

As healthcare workers in the U.S. received COVID-19 vaccines, many were relieved and hopeful. But doctors who are foreign-born also describe a bittersweet feeling.

Carbondale Adds Second Vaccination Clinic On Friday

Feb 18, 2021
City Hall Vaccine Site
Roni LeForge / City of Carbondale

Carbondale will add two mass COVID vaccination sites on Friday.

The state of Illinois is opening mass vaccination sites at the Banterra Center and the Carbondale Civic Center to help boost the number of shots available in southern Illinois.