Elementary school on Rockford’s West Side to become vaccine site

Local News

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — An RPS 205 grade school will soon be the site of a temporary COVID-19 vaccination center. The school board approved the plan Tuesday night.

It would be run by Walgreens and the Winnebago County Health Department. We spoke with Health Director Dr. Sandra Martell to learn more details about the site.

“That light at the end of the tunnel is getting bigger every day,” Dr. Martell said.

The Winnebago County Health Department, RPS 205, Rockford Minister Fellowship, and Walgreens are partnering to get more shots in residents’ arms.

“This is an opportunity, we are working with Walgreens to do a one-time event,” explained. Martell.

1,000 Johnson & Johnson vaccines will be administered Sunday, March 14th at Ellis Elementary School.

“To see all of these entities working together for the common sole purpose of ensuring that every person who wants a vaccine gets a vaccine it’s really uplifting,” said Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara.

Mayor McNamara worked with Walgreens to get the needed vaccines for the city’s west side.

“it’s critical we know that our communities of concern are being vaccinated at a lower rate, they’re registering at a lower rate. They have real, valid concerns over getting vaccinated on historic concerns,” McNamara said.

Dr. Martell says the site will only accept appointments.

“We are working very hard to make sure that we are pulling in our high-risk zip codes,” Dr. Martell said.

Martell hopes to open up a permanent site on the West Side.

“We would have two different locations kind of more eastern area and then a more western area in addition to our vaccination partners and health systems,” she explained.

“We are continuing to work with the minister fellowship to establish what we call a mobile site, a fixed-mobile site–that means it’s regular that would be supported by the Illinois National Guard, as well as the Winnebago County Health Department.”

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