PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — It’s been nearly 365 days since COVID-19 vaccinations first rolled out to the population’s most vulnerable here in Central Illinois, and now it’s reaching the arms of those as young as five-years-old.
Vaccinations were first approved by the FDA in August 2020 to vaccinate healthcare workers and the population’s most vulnerable. Vials reached central Illinois in December 2020 marking the month as a milestone in the fight against the virus.
“When the crisis of COVID hit our region, and the vaccines became available, and the patient needs increased significantly, she’s been there every step of the way,” said Chief Medical Officer for UPH – Central Illinois Dr. Samer Sader.
UnityPoint Health’s Regional Director Of Pharmacy Alice Driscoll and her team worked to make the vaccine widely available.
“It was just such a great feeling, such a great fit for us,” said Driscoll. “Our entire pharmacy team rallied around it and played such an integral part and I’m so proud of them and the effort they put forward.”
UnityPoint Health’s Chief Medical Officer credited Driscoll and her team with helping thousands receive their doses.
“She’s extremely dedicated to the job, the wellbeing of the community, the safety of our patients, has always been paramount for her,” said Dr. Sader.
“This was really a team effort, as is so much that we do,” said Driscoll. “I’m nothing without my team. My pharmacy team. They work so hard every day and have for this entire pandemic to care for our patients.”
Along with offering vaccination against the virus, UnityPoint Health works with Peoria Public Schools to hold vaccine clinics for kids as young as five-years-old.
UniytPoint Vaccine Scheduling
- UnityPoint Health- Central Illinois is currently notifying eligible patients, which includes patients age 5 or older with or without underlying health conditions. Patients 18 or older will be notified via text and phone calls to schedule a vaccination appointment through our online scheduling platform. (Parent or guardian will be notified for patients age 5 through 17.)
- If you are 18 or older or the parent/guardian of a 5 – 17 year old with or without underlying health conditions, you may also contact your primary care provider to assist with scheduling vaccine appointment.
- Please be aware that appointment availability is based on Illinois State vaccine allocations and appointment openings may fluctuate each week due to current vaccine supplies. Thank you for your patience and understanding.
- If you identify as an eligible individual, we encourage you to closely monitor communication from your local public health department. Because we want everyone to get vaccinated as soon as possible, we also recommend you check local pharmacies and public health departments for availability.
- We are not accepting walk-in COVID-19 vaccinations at this time.
The FDA has granted emergency use approval (EUA) for the COVID-19 vaccines Pfizer (ages 5-15), Moderna (ages 18+) and Johnson & Johnson (ages 18+). The FDA has granted full licensure and approval for Pfizer/Comirnaty (ages 16+).