Steve Balich Gives Vaccine FAQ’s Given by Will County
February 9, 2021
Updated February 5, 2021
Q: Why is Will County still in 1A?
A: Will County is not in 1A. Will County began vaccinating people in group 1B on January 25, within days of when the counties around us moved into 1B.
Q: I filled out the online form but I haven’t heard anything. Am I on the list? How will I get an appointment?
A: Over 100,000 people have filled out the online vaccine registration form so it hasn’t been possible for the Health Department to get back to everyone yet. Rest assured that when there is a vaccine available for you, you will be contacted. Right now that contact is being made by email but in the coming weeks, you may be contacted via email or phone. So please make sure you are checking your emails and voicemails regularly.
Q: I (my parent / grandparent / etc) am over 65. Why have I not gotten the vaccine yet?
A: Will County began vaccinating group 1B, which includes people over 65, in the last days of January. It will take weeks, if not months, to get to everyone in group 1B who wants to be
vaccinated. This is primarily because there is a shortage of vaccine on a national level. Once production is increased, the federal government will get more vaccine doses to the states, which will then be able to distribute more vaccines to counties. We hope the production of the vaccine will be significantly increased so that we can get everyone vaccinated as soon as possible. In the meantime, the County Board is committed to funding whatever the Health Department needs in order to be prepared for a massive vaccination project.
Q: I am in group 1C. When can I expect to be vaccinated?
A: It’s going to take weeks, possible months, to get through phase 1B. All of this really depends on how many vaccine doses the county gets and that is largely dependent on how many are produced. Right now there is simply a shortage. It’s going to be slow-going until production is significantly increased.
Q: I understand why I haven’t gotten the vaccine yet, but what’s stopping the Health Department from scheduling appointments in advance?
A: The Health Department gets notification of how many vaccines it will receive only a few days in advance and the supply is not steady. Therefore, they cannot begin scheduling appointments until they know how many vaccines they have for each week.
Q: How can I find out if my business fits into Phase 1B / 1C?
A: Will County is following the guidelines developed by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). You can see detailed explanations of who is in which phase on this website:
Q: Where will I go to get a vaccine?
A: The Health Department is setting up vaccination clinic locations throughout the county. When you are offered an appointment for a vaccine, the location will be indicated as well. Currently The Will County Health Department operates a daily clinic at our 501 Ella Avenue site and is providing vaccine to 23 other locations and providers in the county (Silver Cross Hospital, St. Joe’s Amita, Walgreens, some Jewel-Osco, Wal-Mart, and Meijer locations). COVID vaccinations at all sites throughout the county are by appointment only. For additional information please visit https://coronavirus.illinois.gov/s/vaccination-location
Q: Are vaccines only offered through the County Health Department? Are there other places I can get a vaccine?
A: 1) As the federal supply of vaccines increases and Illinois receives more vaccine, the state will launch walk-in locations and expand sites to additional providers like doctor’s offices and urgent care clinics. More information about those locations will be released in the coming weeks.
2) If you have a family doctor / general practitioner, you should definitely call their office and inquire. Some networks are getting vaccines to some of their patients.
3) Additionally, you can try the following, however, due to the shortage of vaccines, available appointments are taken up almost as soon as they are posted. Frankly, you have to get lucky for either of these to work right now:
Q: I know seniors who do not use a computer. How do they register for the vaccine?
A: You can assist seniors you know to fill out the online registration form at https://willcountyhealth.org/covid-19/covid-vaccine/ or you can tell them to call 815-723-9713, where they will be connected with one of our community partners, Senior Services of Will County, who can help them get registered.
Q: How much will it cost to get a vaccine?
A: The vaccine will be free. If you have health insurance, you may be asked to provide that information.
Q: How many people in Will County have received a vaccine?
As of February 5, 2021:
- 48,690 doses have been administered in Will County
- 13,415 individuals in Will County (1.94% of the population) have been fully vaccinated (2 doses)
- Cook County & DuPage County, both of which have larger populations than Will, have administered more single doses and have more individuals fully vaccinated than Will County does. Lake County, which has a larger population than Will, has vaccinated fewer people (doses and individuals). We are roughly comparable to other collar counties / counties our size in our progress.
Q: Why did the County Board not act faster / have a vaccine plan in place?
A: The County Board has been actively involved in distributing CARES Act funding and serving our
constituents throughout this pandemic. County Board members could not devise or implement a vaccine plan: we have to rely on the experts of the Health Department to do that. While the County Board cannot control the actions of the Health Department (the Health Department actions are dictated by the Board of Health), Board members have repeatedly asked the Health Department what funding they need. All requests for funding support were granted.
Q: Where can I get a COVID test?