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Vaccine eligibility opens up to students

According to the Illinois Department of Public Health 42,190 people have been fully vaccinated in Peoria county. Photo via Scout Archive

All Illinoisans 16 and older are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in Peoria County as of April 5. Bradley notified students of this via email on April 1.

The few students eligible to get the vaccine beforehand were in medical or childcare positions, such as nursing students in clinicals or education students at field placements. After frontline workers were able to get their vaccines, people with medical conditions such as diabetes, cancer, pregnancy and more were eligible.

Bradley and the vaccination

In the email that Bradley sent, the university stated that Health Services doesn’t currently have the COVID-19 vaccine. However, there has been a push by the university to change that.

“It’s not that we don’t want to distribute the vaccines, it’s that we can’t get them from the local health department,” Renee Charles, the university spokesperson, said in an email interview. “We have been trying to get them on campus but to no avail yet.”

Even with students being fully vaccinated, Bradley will not be changing their in-person capacity rules yet, according to Charles. She said that the university will be following capacity guidelines from the Illinois Department of Public Health and from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The university has not made the vaccine required yet, but it is under consideration without an implementation date in mind Charles said.

“[Requiring the vaccine] is possible, and it is a current discussion topic for the virus team,” Charles said. “We are waiting to see what the educational governing bodies recommend and to see how the vaccination rollout goes.”

Where can students get the vaccination?

According to the email sent out by the university, there are multiple locations students can receive the vaccination, with differing types offered by the manufacturers Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson.

The State of Illinois Coronavirus Response website shows Illinoisans over 900 locations available for the vaccine. In the city of Peoria, the public health department and a few pharmacies are distributing the vaccine.

The locations listed in Peoria are mostly pharmacies at Walgreens, Kroger, Hy-Vee and more. Each pharmacy may have an appointment scheduler available online or numbers available to set up an appointment.

The Peoria City/County Health Department website also has additional COVID-19 vaccination spots listed in Peoria.

Types of vaccines and some of their side effects

Currently, the symptoms occurring after the vaccine is administered range from mild to severe reactions.

The CDC has said that possible side effects include swelling, pain and redness in the area of injection, alongside tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, fever and nausea after the vaccine is given.

The CDC also recommends calling a doctor if symptoms continue or worsen. Over-the-counter pain relievers are recommended to lessen the pain of injection sites.

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