Despite fewer COVID-19 vaccinations in central Illinois, doses aren’t wasted

Local News

CENTRAL ILLINOIS (WMBD) — Supply and demand for the COVID-19 vaccine are switching places in central Illinois.

The Illinois Department of Public Health reported 52% of adults in Illinois are now fully vaccinated and almost 69% have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

“We were doing about … 1,000 doses a day in McLean County, so that was our average overall,” said Health Administrator Jessica McKnight. “We’re averaging a little over 600 a day now.”

Sara Sparkman, the communications manager at the Tazewell County Health Department, said turnout at vaccine clinics is dropping, too.

“We were a little disappointed in the numbers,” said Sparkman.

IDPH reports counties in the central Illinois area range from 40-44% of people fully vaccinated.

“Just like a lot of vaccines, getting that last 20-30% is usually the hardest,” said McKnight.

Health administrators said despite fewer vaccinations, doses aren’t being wasted.

“The vaccine is still a very valuable, precious resource. We take our inventory management very seriously,” said McKnight.

Despite the drop in demand, health leaders continue to make the vaccine readily accessible.

“We are going to offer vaccines as long as we can and as long as we need to,” said Sparkman.

Vaccine clinics are open weekly across central Illinois. Some offer extended hours and vaccine options, with no appointment is needed.

The Food and Drug Administration also extended the shelf life of Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine on Thursday. Sparkman said it adds six additional weeks and the department’s doses don’t expire until August.

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