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The Kankakee County Health Department released their answers to commonly asked questions about the county's vaccine sign-up and distribution process. 

The department said it will schedule vaccination clinics as rapidly as vaccine supply is received, following the mandated phased approach established by CDC, IDPH, ACIP, and Governor JB Pritzker, and fully supports the science and safety behind COVID-19 vaccines. 

Q: When can I get a shot?

A: Eligible groups in 1A or 1B are contacted through their employer (healthcare, teacher, and industry) or individually (65+). We will continue to contact groups listed in 1A and 1B as vaccine becomes available. 1B is estimated to be over 40,000 individuals in Kankakee County. Vaccine distribution will take some time.

Phase 1A includes healthcare workers & LTC residents. Phase 1B includes those older than 65 and frontline essential workers.

Other groups, workers, or individuals must wait until the phase becomes eligible. We expect to be in this current phase for many weeks to months. Please be patient.

Q: How do we register?

A: Please go to our website www.kankakeehealth.org or our Facebook page and click on the link https://bit.ly/3hTUFYJ to register using the survey. Click on the triangle in each green circle to “drop down” the questions for each section. This will help determine which phase you qualify for. If you are unable to register online, please call 815-802-9449 and provide your information. Please leave your name, age, and phone number. This information will put you on our list. You will not receive a phone call back to confirm that you are registered.

If you registered via our link on our website or our Facebook page, you should have received a confirmation at the end once you clicked Submit that looks like this:

Vaccine registration confirmation

Q. I registered on your link, but it’s been weeks and I haven’t been called yet. Can you tell me what number I am on the list?

A. We must follow the guidelines that IDPH put in place as far as when we can start vaccinating each group. We were not able to start vaccinating seniors over 65 until January 25, 2021, but we already had several thousand people that had registered prior to that date. We will call or email you at the phone number or email you gave as soon as we get to you on the list.

Q: Who will contact me?

A: Kankakee County Health Department has partnered with Riverside Hospital and Meijer to assist in vaccinating the community as quickly as possible. You will be contacted by Riverside Hospital, Meijer, or the Health Department regarding scheduling your vaccination. Please make sure that you answer the phone if you see an unfamiliar phone number.

Q: How much vaccine do we have in Kankakee County?

A: Kankakee County Health Department must order supplies weekly through IDPH and supplies are extremely limited. Once received, KCHD then distributes the vaccine via KCHD clinics, to the local hospitals, and to assisting pharmacies. As supplies increase, and extra providers become available, more appointments can be made.

Q: What is the Health Department doing now?

A: Currently the KCHD, local hospitals, and assisting pharmacies are vaccinating groups in Phase 1A and 1B by appointment and as supply allows. KCHD has completed eleven school district clinics. Plans are in place to vaccinate larger groups when vaccine supply is increased.

Q. My mom is at a nursing home and hasn’t received her vaccination yet; why is the Health Department vaccinating young workers and not the elderly population who are more susceptible to this disease?

A. The Federal Government created a partnership with Walgreens and CVS pharmacies to directly ship vaccine to these pharmacies; in order for them to vaccinate residents of nursing homes and the long-term care facilities. The Kankakee County Health Department is not allotted vaccine to provide vaccines to these locations. Vaccine for these locations is coming from the Federal “pool” of vaccines. Participating pharmacies near you can be found at coronavirus.illinois.gov/s/vaccination-location.  

You have the Kankakee County Health Department’s promise that we will continue to vaccinate our community until everyone who wants the COVID vaccine is vaccinated. We urge you to be patient and please understand that we are focused on making sure that all our residents are taken care of and we will not stop until everyone is served.