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Tri-county region awaiting thousands of delayed vaccine doses

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PEORIA (WEEK) -- Winter storms in Central Illinois and all over the country have slowed down vaccine rollout.

Peoria, Tazewell and Woodford Counties have been waiting on about 10,000 doses of the vaccine. Those shipments should have started to arrive last week.

"Pfizer has looked at speeding up production, we're hoping to have Johnson & Johnson available on the market. So we're hoping that overall volume and product volume increase at the same times," said Peoria City County Health Department Administrator, Monica Hendrickson.

For now, the Health Department is limiting first-dose appointments until supply picks up again.

As the state told local health departments to allocate more doses for second shots, Hendrickson said people should expect more side effects the second time around.

"Everyone does respond, and I think that is key to recognize. With the second dose you are going to have an immune response. That means it's working," said Hendrickson.

Vaccine rollout was not the only issue, health leaders are warning about COVID-19 scam calls. Scammers are posing as contact tracers to collect personal information.

"The only information that we do ask is a date of birth and that is to verify you are the correct person that we're speaking with and to verify your address that you are still in the county we are calling you from," said Peoria City County Health Department Epidemiologist, Tracy Terlinde.

The Peoria County Sheriff's Office said it had received calls of scammers who asked for payments for a vaccine, even though they are free.

"Nobody is going to be asking you for your social security number, nobody is going to be asking you for any bank information," said Aimee Shinall, Victim Services Coordinator at the Peoria County Sheriff's Office.

Shinall said posting pictures of vaccination cards to social media could also reveal more information to scammers.

While health leaders say to be on the lookout, they said they are hoping to get those thousands of doses by next week.

Paige Blanzy

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