UPDATE: All appointments for the January 12-14 COVID-19 vaccination clinics are full. The Champaign-Urbana Public Health District cites an “overwhelming response.” CUPHD says it will announce its next vaccination clinic via their website and social media, once they get an additional supply of vaccines. – JM 1/9/21 11:25 p.m.
URBANA – Champaign County health officials have announced the county’s first clinics for administering COVID-19 vaccines to the general public.
The Champaign-Urbana Public Health District announced Friday that the free clinics, for county residents aged 75 and older, will take place Tuesday through Thursday, January 12-14, from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at two sites in Champaign.
One of the appointment-only clinics will be held at the I Hotel and Conference Center, 1900 South First Street. The other will be at the former Dress Barn in Kohl’s Plaza, 1901 North Market Street.
People aged 75 or older can sign up to be vaccinated for COVID-19 at MyCarle.com or by calling 217-902-6100 (for the Kohl’s Plaza clinic), and the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District’s sign up page, or by calling 217-239-7877 (for the I-Hotel clinic).
Epidemiologist Awais Vaid, with the Public Health District, says those who sign up will receive either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines. He says both are administered in two stages. Patients will be notified of the time and date for their second shot when they are given their first one.
“For Pfizer that is 21 days apart, and for Moderna that is about 28 days apart,” says Vaid. “Once you have received both the vaccines, about ten to fourteen days after your second dose of the vaccine, you will be considered immune.”
Vaid says those applying for vaccinations will not have a choice of which vaccine they receive. But he says both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are equally safe and effective.
CUPHD administrator Julie Pryde says the vaccination clinics are not for residents of nursing homes or long-term care facilities. She says residents of those facilities are being vaccinated by local pharmacies through a federal program. Pryde asked the public not to bring family members or friends from those facilities to the clinics.
The initial supply of COVID-19 vaccines for Champaign County is small; Vaid says they have 2,500 to 3,000 vaccine doses. Pryde says the problem lies with the federal government’s distribution of the vaccines. But she expects the supply to improve in time.
“We do think that as things move on, and as the month progresses, we’re going to start getting more and more and larger shipments as we go,” said Pryde. “It just starts out with a trickle. That’s not unusual with something like this.”
And Pryde says no one should expect other counties to hold vaccination clinics at the same time as Champaign County. She says each county is receiving vaccines on a different timetable, and has its own unique capacities for administering them.