Boone County is beginning to expand its COVID-19 vaccination efforts to workers in manufacturing.
Manufacturers are partnering with the Boone County Health Department to deliver vaccinations to their employees. Amanda Mehl, with the BCDH, said these workers are among the most likely to contract the coronavirus.
“Over the last 10-and-a-half months, we have identified that the number one exposure location for individuals here in Boone County has been in a factory setting,” said Mehl.
Earlier this month the BCDH launched a pilot vaccination program with the Stellantis assembly plant in Belvidere and the SwedishAmerican Health System. According to Mehl, the initial program was instructive to how the health department plans to scale their approach to vaccinating factory workers.
Boone County transitioned into the phase 1B vaccination schedule, which includes work frontline essential workers and individuals 65 and older, at the end of last month.
The BCDH met with several manufacturers earlier this week discuss next steps in developing vaccination programs. Mehl says that the health department is preparing to roll out invitation-only clinics designed for specific manufacturers and their employees as supplies become available. Mehl noted that vaccines are still in short supply.
- Juanpablo Ramirez-Franco is a current corps member for Report for America, an initiative of the GroundTruth Project which is a national service program that places talented journalists in local newsrooms.