Health officials said that all residents 65 and older along with some frontline essential workers, like first responders and teachers, have now been offered vaccine appointments in Lake County.
Lake County Health Department Spokeswoman Hannah Goering told Lake and McHenry County Scanner that everyone 65+ who have a Lake County zipcode were made eligible to schedule an appointment in the county’s AllVax system.
“The system is designed to roll out appointment scheduling as we receive vaccine supply,” Goering said, adding that all first responders, daycare workers, and PreK-12 educators have also been given access to schedule an appointment through the system.
The Lake County Health Department is now opening up eligibility to additional groups of Phase 1B frontline essential workers, like those in food and agriculture, corrections, manufacturing, public transit, grocery store and other industries.
After the health department has completed those workers, they will be moving onto Phase 1B “Plus” which includes all residents 16 and older who have underlying conditions.
Goering said that demand for vaccination has “far exceeded our supply.”
“That high demand is a good thing, however, our limited supply has of course caused a lot of frustration. All of the vaccines we receive are getting out to our partners and into arms very rapidly,” she said.
Goering explained that some counties in the state, like southern Illinois, received greater supply per capita than Lake County. Some counties also have lower demand among their population so they opened up eligibility faster.
“When you actually compare the metrics of our county to others, and our state to other states, we are on track and making progress toward our goal,” Goering said.
The health department has the capacity in place to vaccinate tens of thousands more residents each week, but the vaccine supply is the limiting factor.
“We keep reiterating – eligibility doesn’t mean availability – so while the state opens up new phases, we can only move as quickly as we have supply,” Goering added.
“We’re grateful that our residents are eager to get vaccinated, with the reminder that patience is needed.”
The health department suggests all residents sign up at allvax.lakecohealth.org in order to be notified when an appointment is available to them.
Residents can also see additional vaccination options by visiting coronavirus.illinois.gov/s/vaccination-location.