Southern Seven entering Phase 1B

COVID-19 vaccine update

Southern Seven Health Department announced Jan. 19 that it is entering Phase 1B of the COVID-19 vaccination schedule. 

Southern Seven Health Department said in a news release that Phase 1B opens the vaccines to a wider group of individuals living within the region it serves.

Southern Seven Health Department serves Alexander, Hardin, Johnson, Massac, Pope, Pulaski and Union counties.

Phase 1B of the COVID-19 vaccination program includes people 65 years of age and older, along with essential workers. 

The health department said that essential workers include:

First responders (firefighters, police, EMS, etc.). Teachers (including support staff and daycare).

Food and agriculture. Public transit workers. Grocery store employees.

Transportation and logistics. Utilities (energy, IT and communication, water, wastewater, etc.)

COVID-19 vaccines are still in very limited supplies. 

“As we are notified of how many vaccines will be delivered to us each week, S7HD will call and schedule appointments for vaccination clinics throughout our seven counties,” Southern Seven Health Department contact tracing outreach coordinator Nathan Ryder said.

“Appointments will be scheduled utilizing the information submitted to our vaccine registry.”

Southern Seven Health Department is inviting anyone in the counties it serves who is interested in getting a vaccine to add their name to the health department’s COVID-19 vaccine registry. 

A link to the online contact list has been posted on the health department’s Facebook page and on its website at

The survey can also be visited directly with the following link: 

“Our phone systems have been overwhelmed with people wanting to get their names added to our registry for the COVID-19 vaccine,” Ryder said. 

“If you are interested in getting vaccinated and have access to the internet, we ask that you please register online. 

“This will help keep the phone lines open for folks who don’t have access to the internet or may not be as technologically savvy to get added to our registry. 

“If you know of someone who doesn’t have access to the internet, we ask that you offer a minute or two of your time to enter their information into the registry for them.”

“It’s important to note that this is not a reservation form, a vaccination appointment, or a ‘wait list’,” Ryder said.

“It is simply a way for us to maintain a list of contacts so we can keep people notified of the different vaccination phases as we move through them. 

“We will also continue to update vaccination opportunities on our social media channels like Facebook and Twitter in addition to our print, radio, and TV news outlets in the region.”

Based on current guidance from Illinois Department of Public Health, IDPH, Southern Seven Health Department expects to receive a weekly shipment of vaccine. 

These vaccines will be distributed throughout the seven counties based on guidance from IDPH and the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, CDC.

Previously COVID-19 vaccinations were being provided to frontline healthcare workers and residents of long-term care facilities under Phase 1A of the CDC’s COVID-19 vaccination program.  

If you are a member of the Phase 1A group and missed your first opportunity to get vaccinated, please add your name to the registry so we can keep you notified of upcoming vaccination opportunities,” Ryder said.

“Phase 1 is characterized by having access to a limited amount of COVID-19 vaccine. It is anticipated we will be in Phase 1 until the end of spring.”

There is no charge for receiving a COVID-19 vaccine from Southern Seven Health Department. 

However, some other providers may charge an administrative fee for the injection. If you have health insurance, the vaccine provider will bill your insurance company for this administrative fee. If you are uninsured, you will not be charged for the administrative fee.

For questions regarding COVID-19, contact Southern Seven Health Department at 618-634-2297 or visit the department on Facebook and online at

The Gazette-Democrat

112 Lafayette St.
Anna, Illinois 62906
Office Number: (618) 833-2158

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