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Hometown Voice Article: 01-14-2021

 

COVID-19 Vaccine distribution is currently underway at Wabash County Health Department

 

A Step Toward Recovery

As we enter the biggest step thus far in recovering from the Coronavirus, we urge the community to be patient. Wabash County Health Department is preparing to vaccinate both Wabash and Edwards County communities. Our goal is to offer those who wish to receive the vaccine the ability to do so. We are limited to the amount of vaccine that is available to us due to high demand and low population. We plan to offer vaccine to those within our community who are at highest risk first with a focus on our senior population. We will continuously update the media as we travel further into the current phase as to who we can provide vaccine to.

 

Waiting for an EUA:

As the State readied its Strategic National Stockpile (SNS), the priority of Local Health Department’s (LHDs) was to create plans to prepare for what came down the pike. The creation of a new vaccine, mRNA or messenger ribonucleic acid, created new strategic challenges. These challenges included preparing for “ultra-cold” storage for vaccine. Across the country states prepared to store, transport and distribute the Pfizer vaccine. The FDA issued an Emergency Use Authorization or EUA to grant states the opportunity to distribute the Pfizer vaccine.  Due to low death rate, Wabash/Edwards Counties did not qualify for the initial week of distribution.  Soon after, an EUA was released by the FDA for the use of the Moderna Vaccine. This vaccine presented less challenges logistically and could be direct shipped to Health Departments around the State.  Wabash and Edwards Counties received its first allocation from the State on November 28th, 2020. In coordination with the Illinois Department of Public Health, the Wabash County Health Department has initiated it Jurisdictional Plan for both Wabash and Edwards Counties to distribute and administer the COVID-19 vaccine. 

 

A phased approach:

The State of Illinois prepared a phased approach to vaccine distribution to equitably distribute COVID-19 vaccine. Each phase was determined by guidance from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). Initially, the COVID-19 vaccine supply level was severely limited so initial doses were focused on reaching critical populations.

 

Phase 1A:

Healthcare workers in both hospital and non-hospital setting were the first to be offered the vaccine. With limited allocation of doses and an evolving list of those under the umbrella of Phase 1a, the Wabash County Health Department worked collaboratively with Wabash General Hospital and other healthcare facilities in both counties to cover healthcare workers who fit this phase over the span of several weeks. Meanwhile, Long term care facilities within Wabash and Edwards entered into an agreement with the Federal Pharmacy Partnership, a partnership was created between CVS & Walgreens to administer doses to those in Long Term Care and Assisted Living Facilities.  The doses allotted to those within the LTC’s and Assisted living were taken off the top of the state and not out of the allotments for Wabash and Edwards Counties. The Partnership is currently administering doses throughout the state to cover the residents and staff at each facility.

 

Phase 1B

We enter phase 1B with the knowledge that it could take months to distribute and administer doses. Statewide, there is an estimated 3.2 MILLION residents that would qualify for phase 1b, including but not limited to, Frontline Essential Workers including first responders, Shelters, Adult Care, & Inmates, and persons aged 65 and older.

For more information about the State’s plan visit: https://coronavirus.illinois.gov/s/

Note: each phase is subject to change at the direction of the State at any time. 

Most current information will be posted to our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/WCHDPHS and released to the media as it becomes available.

Submitted by: 

Tristan Barbre, Public Health Emergency Preparedness Coordinator, Wabash County Health Department

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Self Care Tips for Protection

Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.

If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Practice Social Distancing

   

For more information about the Coronavirus Disease/Covid-19, please visit the following links.

Wabash County Health Department Hours:
Monday-Wednesday 7:00 am -5:00 pm
Thursday 7:00 am-5:00 pm
Friday 8:00 am to Noon
Wabash Community Health Center Hours:
Monday 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
Tuesday 8:00 am -6:00 pm
Wednesday 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
Thursday 8:00 am - 7:00 pm
Friday 8:00 am to Noon
Wabash County Health Department complies with all applicable Federal Civil Rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, national origin, religion, age, disability, gender, sexual identity or sexual orientation. For more information on Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act, click here.