Greater than 600 individuals obtained in Pembroke | a J&J vaccine native information
HOPKINS PARK – More than 600 people received a COVID-19 vaccination Monday during a clinic at the Pembroke Fellowship Church.
It was the first of three Kankakee County sites established by the state with vaccine teams from the Illinois National Guard. Nineteen guardsmen were working in the clinic on Monday.
Two teams will be working on similar events scheduled for today and Wednesday at Kankakee Community College.
700 doses are given on each of these days. The appointments for these clinics were filled shortly after being made available online in the week leading up to the event.
At the clinic on Monday, 658 people received a one-time vaccine from Johnson & Johnson, said John Bevis, Kankakee County’s health administrator. Since the appointment of appointments for the clinic was not set in advance on Monday, 70 doses were made available for walk-ins, he said.
State officials said Pembroke was chosen as the site to increase the number of minorities receiving the vaccine.
Pastor Rodney Lake said Monday that transportation and misinformation about the vaccine have contributed to lower vaccination rates among minorities.
“It’s an education issue,” said Lake, who is also the moderator for the Kankakee and Vicinity Baptist District Association. “We’re getting the community to dispel the conspiracy theories. We hope that the training will result in greater participation. “
Lake said the church was more than ready to set up another vaccination clinic.
Of the more than 107 million Americans who were vaccinated with at least one shot on April 4, 65 percent are white, 9.7 percent Spanish and 8.3 percent are black, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“Resources, education, and community coordination help us inform,” said Theodis Pace, president of the NAACP Kankakee County office. “We have to keep spreading the word. We all get the shot together and we can get back to our lives. “
Pace estimated that 35 percent of those who received the vaccine at the clinic on Monday were black.
Monday’s clinic was made possible in part by the work of Bevis and Senator Patrick Joyce, D-Essex. They noticed the county’s vaccination counts were starting to lag behind the state’s average vaccination percentage and reached out to state officials to bring additional state funding to Kankakee County.
According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, the county fully vaccinated 12.82 percent of the population as of Monday.
According to Bevis, events like the clinic on Monday can increase the percentage faster.
“If we get more vaccines than we are back here today and Tuesday and Wednesday, we will get more vaccines into people’s arms,” Bevis said.