COVID-19 vaccinations will be available to people 65 years old and older beginning on Wednesday, Jan. 20, at Sarah Bush Lincoln in the Lumpkin Family Center for Health Education on the north side of the Health Center campus. Participants must reside in Coles County to receive the vaccine from this allotment.
Through collaboration with the Coles County Health Department, Sarah Bush Lincoln received COVID-19 vaccines to distribute first to anyone 65 years of age and older, who resides in Coles County. The state moved to phase 1B beginning January 18, 2021. Phase 1B includes people aged 65 and older, first responders, and those who work in education, food and agriculture, manufacturing, corrections workers and inmates, USPS workers, public transit workers, grocery store workers and staff at shelters and day cares. As more vaccines become available in the coming weeks through the Illinois Department of Public Health, more vaccination clinics will be held.
To register to receive a vaccination appointment, please call 217 258-7489. Phone lines will be answered from 8 am to 5 pm, Monday through Friday, while vaccines are available. Those who do not secure an appointment are encouraged to routinely visit www.sarahbush.org where vaccination clinic information will be posted.
Vaccination participants will be required to show a driver’s license, proof of employment, and an insurance card if they have one before the vaccine can be administered. There is no charge for the vaccination to the public, however insurance carriers may be charged for its administration.
Participants will be required to complete a form prior to receiving the vaccine and also will be required to wait about 15 minutes post vaccination to watch for any reaction to the injection. Information will also be provided about the vaccine. To review it in advance, go to www.sarahbush.org/vaccines. An appointment for the second dose will be made during the vaccination process.
Participants will receive a vaccination card containing the date and type of vaccine they received, which they are required to bring back when they receive their second dose so the dose can be noted on the card. The card should be stored in a safe place in case it is needed for future travel or other purposes. The vaccine information will be uploaded into the state’s I-CARE site which contains information regarding all the vaccines a resident has received.
SBL President and CEO Jerry Esker expressed his enthusiasm for the ability to offer vaccines to the community. “We are so pleased to offer COVID-19 vaccines to the community. We will continue to request more vaccines through Coles County Health Department to ensure that everyone who wants one can receive one. The local health department is a tremendous partner to SBL and the community, especially during this pandemic. We all appreciate the staff’s guidance.”
He added, “I am encouraged by the decrease in COVID-19 activity in our community. Right now, our positivity rate and our hospitalizations are decreasing. With the availability of the vaccine, we hope we can return to our normal activities soon.”
Esker noted that SBL employees experienced nearly no side effects with the first dose, except perhaps a sore arm. With the second dose, many noted a sore arm again, while fewer noted manageable side effects such as headaches, low fevers, slight nausea.