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COVID-19 Vaccine Update

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MACOMB, Ill. – It has been one month since McDonough District Hospital administered the first-ever COVID-19 vaccine in the county (December 16). Thanks to staff from several departments across the hospital, MDH is well on its way to making sure medical staff and essential personnel have received an initial dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and in many cases their necessary second dose.

Phase 1A of the Illinois Department of Public Health’s COVID-19 vaccination plan began in McDonough County on December 16 when the initial doses were administered to healthcare workers. The state recently announced that Phase 1B of the vaccination process has begun. Those phases are explained in greater detail on

All COVID-19 vaccines are distributed from the Illinois Department of Public Health to each respective county’s health department. At this time, MDH does not receive direct allocations of the COVID-19 vaccine from the state of Illinois or federal government.

As of January 15, MDH has administered 641 COVID-19 vaccinations (a combination of Pfizer and Moderna). Of that total, 408 individuals received their first dose and 233 second doses were given.

In preparation of the vaccine rollout, MDH purchased the required refrigeration equipment to store each vaccine at its necessary temperature. At this time, due to the lack of vaccine availability from the IDPH and federal government, MDH does not have any COVID-19 vaccines on-hand. When more vaccines come available, MDH is prepared to meet any storage need.

As part of its on-going COVID-19 strategic planning process, MDH developed its internal plan for vaccine distribution and staff members have implemented it with great success.

During the first three days of vaccine distribution (December 16-18), MDH gave 233 COVID-19 vaccinations.

In a day-and-a-half stretch in January, needing only a minimal amount of staff members, the MDH vaccine administration team administered 246 doses to healthcare staff and essential frontline workers.

According to MDH Incident Commander Wanda Foster (Vice President/Chief Nursing Officer), the hospital has enough staff and space for a large capacity vaccination clinic, however, the key missing element is enough doses to meet the demand.

“The McDonough County Health Department is the IDPH point of contact for the COVID-19 vaccine distribution. MDH is here to assist our county partners in any way possible to safely administer the vaccine in an expedited manner. When our COVID pandemic planning started last March, we also looked ahead to the day when a vaccine would be available. MDH is committed to utilizing every resource we have available to help in the distribution process, in order to protect the citizens of McDonough County from COVID-19. This is exciting,” said Foster.

Brian E. Dietz, FACHE, MDH’s President/CEO echoed what Foster stated about the hospital’s capacity for vaccine distribution and willingness to do whatever it takes to ensure the protection of McDonough County residents from COVID-19.

“Since the onset of the pandemic in March 2020, our Incident Command Team, led by Wanda Foster, has engaged in a perpetual planning process to assure we are adapting in any way necessary to the ever changing distribution plans for the COVID-19 vaccine. Our plans are flexible and can accommodate the timely rapid distribution of vaccine regardless of the amount of vaccine we receive. If we had enough to vaccinate all of McDonough County we’ve developed the plans to do so as expeditiously as possible,” said Dietz. “In the later part of February our new Drive-Thru building will be complete and ready to accommodate a large volume of residents seeking the vaccine. On our campus, including the new Drive-Thru location, we will have three sites to utilize simultaneously to administer the vaccine, which gives us and the County Health Department extraordinary distribution capability. We are prepared for mass vaccination provided the supply is there for distribution.”

For the latest update on COVID-19 vaccine distribution, go to