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The Tri-County area is expanding vaccine access Friday; Find out if you qualify

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Peoria IL (WEEK) - More people will now be able to get a COVID-19 vaccine in Peoria, Tazewell and Woodford counties on Friday, March 5th. This comes after a delay in the expansion to Phase 1b+.

This 1b+ expansion includes:

  • Ages 16-64 who have medical conditions which increase their risks:
    • Obesity
    • Diabetes
    • Pulmonary Diseases
    • Smoking
    • Heart Conditions
    • Chronic Kidney Disease
    • Cancer
    • Solid Organ Transplant
    • Sickle Cell Disease
    • Pregnancy
  • Persons with a disability not otherwise covered in previous categories.

"I wouldn't say we're completed yet…but we have a good enough handle to recognize that it's now good to move to the next phase." said Monica Hendrickson, administrator of the Peoria City/County Health Department.

The health department is partnering with the United Way 211 information line to help people schedule appointments and get on the 'Dose Saver List'. This is to make sure shots don't get unused at the end of the day.

"We've increased our call staff for this project itself, we also had increased our staff about a year ago when we saw a big influx of calls as well," said Jennifer Zammuto, President of the Heart of Illinois United Way.

Some people may have a preference for one of the three vaccine's available, but Hendrickson says they will not be able to guarantee which vaccine you get.

"What ever vaccine we have, we'll be pushing out. All three vaccines are effective and I think that's important to know, a lot of people sometimes see the Johnson & Johnson and focus on that 65 percent value and think for some reason that it's not as effective as the other vaccines and that's far from it," said Hendrickson.

She says they have not gotten any of the new Johnson & Johnson vaccines yet but it could be a good candidate for mass vaccination sites since you only need one dose, the other brands both require two shots.

Sheridan Swathwood

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