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Pike County anticipates phase 1-B vaccines in a few days

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PITTSFIELD, Ill. (WGEM) -- The vaccine is not too far from being available to more people living in Pike County, Illinois.

Health Department officials said they are set to move in to Phase 1-B of vaccinations early next week and have opened registration sign-ups for people who qualify.

Mary Etta Fox (89) said when she heard her turn to get the vaccine was soon, she went ahead and registered.

"I was ready for it, like I said, I knew several people who had it and seemed to be doing okay. So, kind of learn it from who did it first," Fox said.

She said she doesn't have many underlying conditions, but her age puts her at risk of contracting the virus, and not being able to fight it off well.

"I just want people to realize this is real," Fox said.

Pike County Health Department Director of Nursing, Sharon Bargmann said yesterday they opened registration for people who are 65-years and older and front-line essential workers.

"Such as first responders, corrections, food and agriculture workers, postal service workers, manufacturing, grocery store workers, public transit, education, so our school and any shelters or daycares," Bargmann said.

She said they have received hundreds of calls already.

"This is so crucial that we get people vaccinated because in Pike County. Pike and Green have the highest percentage per capita of positive COVID-19 cases," Bargmann said.

Bargmann said when vaccines become more available, the hospital, doctors offices, and pharmacies will also administer the vaccine.

"If we want to get back to any kind of a normal life we need to get vaccinated," Bargmann said.

"I think we all ought to do our part to stop this," Fox said.

Bargmann said it will take a while to get everyone in Phase 1-B vaccinated. She said to give you context, it takes two days to do 100 vaccinations.

In this next phase they have 33-hundred elderly residents in Pike County as well as businesses to go through.

Bargmann said they will receive 200 doses of the vaccine by Monday or Tuesday.

She said they have set up a system for people that qualify for the vaccine and want to sign up.

She said call the health department at (217) 285-4407, select option 8, and leave your name, date of birth, and a number.

Charity Bell

Multimedia Journalist at WGEM

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