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CHAMPAIGN — Champaign County will open up COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to everyone ages 16 and older starting Monday.

The state is officially expanding vaccine eligibility to 16 and up starting April 12, but individual counties can expand earlier if they choose to — and if they have Pfizer/BioNTech’s vaccine available for those younger teens.

The Pfizer vaccine is the only one authorized for those ages 16 and 17. The Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are authorized only for ages 18 and up.

Next week, county health officials expect to get about 1,100 to 1,200 first doses each of Moderna and Pfizer vaccines and about the same amount of the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine, according to Awais Vaid, deputy administrator of the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District.

Those doses will be divided among University of Illinois McKinley Health Center for students and three ongoing community vaccine sites — Meadowbrook Community Church and the former Dress Barn store at Kohl’s plaza, both in Champaign, and the Rantoul Youth Center, Vaid said. There will also be a separate allotment available for 2,000 second doses of Moderna and Pfizer for next week, he said.

Walgreens drugstores in Champaign County will also have more than 3,000 doses of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines available, and have been notified that the county has opened up vaccine eligibility to everyone 16 and up starting Monday, Vaid said.

Meanwhile, the health district is hoping to hear early next week whether the state will also provide a requested special allotment of 20,000 doses intended to vaccinate all remaining UI students this month, he said.

That’s about how much vaccine would be needed for students on campus who haven’t already been vaccinated through McKinley Health Center or other locations, he said.

If the special allotment comes through for students, Vaid said the health district will likely team up with McKinley Health Center and other providers to do about 2,000 student vaccinations a day on campus, with a goal of completing all student vaccinations before final exams begin.

“We are ready to go as soon as they say yes,” he said.

In other area counties:

  • The Vermilion County Health Department is now expecting the Illinois National Guard to remain on hand to help with vaccinations in that county through April and into early May, Administrator Doug Toole said Friday.

Vermilion County expects to receive 500 first doses of Moderna next week and has been told to expect 1,000 doses of Johnson & Johnson vaccine, Toole said, but he’s waiting to see if it actually arrives.

Plans in that county call for vaccine clinics being held Monday and next Saturday at the health department and Wednesday and Thursday at the Fischer Theatre, both in Danville.

  • The Ford County Health Department is expecting to receive 100 doses of Moderna and 100 Johnson & Johnson doses next week, according to Community Health Educator Megan Reutter.
  • The Douglas County Health Department is expecting to receive 200 first doses and 400 second doses next week, all Moderna. The county also has 40 first and 300 second doses on hand to use next week, according to health department spokeswoman Summer Phillips.

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