CHAMPAIGN — COVID-19 vaccine is expected to be in much shorter supply for first doses next week in Champaign County, though thousands of already-booked second doses will still be administered as planned.
Earlier Friday, local health officials expected to have at least some new first-dose appointments available at the vaccination site being operated by Carle Health at the former Dress Barn store in Champaign.
But by later in the afternoon, about 2,000 vaccine appointments had been booked for this weekend, according to Carle spokeswoman Jamie Mullin.
Champaign-Urbana Public Health District Deputy Administrator Awais Vaid said those appointments filled up rapidly after a decision was made to expand eligibility for vaccine in Champaign County to people ages 16-64 with underlying health conditions.
For the past week, the county had been limiting vaccinations for people under 65 with health conditions to those ages 40-64, but that left too many vaccine slots open at the former Dress Barn site, Vaid said.
Unless expected vaccine supply changes, Champaign County can expect to receive a maximum of 800 first doses for next week, though some of them will be used for vaccinations at the county jail and at senior high-rise apartment buildings, Vaid said.
Once the 800 doses are in hand next week, what’s left of them will be made available for new first-dose appointments in the community, he said.
The much shorter vaccine supply for first doses means OSF HealthCare won’t be able to administer vaccinations in Rantoul next week, Vaid said.
But there will still be thousands of scheduled second doses administered next week at other vaccination sites in Champaign, he said.
Vermilion County Health Department Administrator Doug Toole said that county still has enough vaccine to keep appointments for vaccinations scheduled for Feb. 25, and the state has assured there will be enough vaccine to provide second doses next month for those getting first doses in February.
But the health department is unable to schedule any new first-dose appointments for next week, Toole said.
Anyone eligible for vaccine in groups 1A and 1B can place their names on a waiting list by calling the health department, he said.
The Ford County Health Department expects to get 200 vaccine doses next week, to be used for second doses, according to the department’s Community Health Educator Megan Reutter.
“We are not scheduling any clinics for first doses next week because we have been told that the doses and vaccine shipments have been a little behind due to the weather,” she said.
The Douglas County Health Department plans to administer 200 first doses and 240 second doses Feb. 25 in Tuscola for county residents 65 and older only.
Fewer than 40 percent of Douglas County residents in that age group have been vaccinated due to continued limited vaccine supply, according to department spokeswoman Summer Phillips.