PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) –The Illinois Department of Public Health has provided little guidance on how pharmacies and health departments should regulate where someone can get the COVID-19 vaccine.
With the state moving to Phase 1B for vaccinations, frontline workers and anyone 65 and older can now make an appointment to get a shot.
Health departments are given vaccines based on population. But people coming in from other counties to receive a vaccine from a local pharmacy could potentially take doses away from people who live in this area.
Officials at the Peoria City/County Health Department said they are trying to rely on self-reporting and compliance when administering those vaccines, rather than regulating who gets them.
In an email to WMBD, a spokesperson from the health department wrote in part, “We currently request only those living in our county to request vaccination appointments from us, since the vaccine is allocated from the state to us for our population, and we plan on staffing for those numbers.”
The health department representatives said they only distribute to OSF, Unity Point, Heartland, and their own clinics. They did not say if people outside of Peoria County have successfully received the COVID-19 vaccine at any of the sites they distribute to.
But, people outside of Peoria County can get the COVID-19 vaccine at local pharmacies in Peoria County.
Hy-Vee is one of three pharmacies in the county also offering that vaccination service.
WMBD’s Brittni Clemons went through the process of registering on Hy-vee’s website for the vaccine. The form allows one to put in personal information but does not require proof of residence in the county.
Walgreens and Kroger’s pharmacy customer service both confirmed a similar process. A representative at each store said an appointment could be made online, as long as the recipient lives in Illinois.
WMBD also reached out to Hy-Vee about the regulation process. In an email statement, the pharmacy says their locations are getting limited vaccine doses from the state and that the Illinois Department of Public Health has not provided guidance regarding residency requirements.
The Peoria City/County Health Department will hold its weekly press conference Thursday. WMBD will work to get more answers about the COVID-19 vaccine residency regulations.
To see where you can make an appointment click here.