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All Madison County residents 16 or older now eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccine

Belleville News-Democrat - 3/27/2021

Mar. 27—Health officials in Madison County have announced vaccinations of anyone 16 years of age and older will begin immediately.

To sign up for a vaccine appointment in Madison County visit ,

The move to expand eligibility in the county came after Illinois Department of Public Health officials said Friday that the state is taking "aggressive action" to address early signs of a possible resurgence of COVID-19, particularly in the northern region of the state, allowing counties that have the capacity to further expand vaccine eligibility ahead of schedule.

St. Clair County also expanded its vaccination to anyone over 16 years old on Friday.

Since March 8 and through Friday, the state has seen 10 days of increases in the seven-day rolling average for hospital admissions. The state's COVID-19 test positivity rate has risen from 2.5% on March 10 to 3.3% on Friday.

"We don't want to go down the same path we've seen before and experience a resurgence in the pandemic, which is why Governor Pritzker directed us to use all our resources to halt these upticks," said Dr. Ngozi Ezike, director of the state health department. "We cannot move forward if our metrics are going backward. The vaccine will help get us to the end of the pandemic, but we need to continue to reduce spread of the virus by wearing a mask, avoiding large crowds, keeping six feet of distance, getting tested after seeing others, and getting vaccinated as soon as possible."

Ezike said along with the expanded eligibility, the state would be sending "rapid response" vaccination teams to five counties in the northern region of Illinois to address low demand in the area.

As of Saturday, Madison County had fully vaccinated 51,748 people, or roughly 19.57% of its population. The county currently has a mass vaccination site setup at the Gateway Convention Center, where around 2,340 people get a shot on an average day, according to an Illinois National Guard member who spoke to reporters March 22 at the site.


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