Southern Seven: National Guard assisting at mass vaccination centers

Southern Seven Health Department on Wednesday, March 3, announced that the Illinois National Guard had arrived in the region to assist with mass COVID-19 vaccination centers beginning.

National Guard teams planned to start last week in assisting Southern Seven Health Department by providing support personnel and additional vaccine administrators at each location.

“This infusion of extra personnel from the Illinois National Guard will allow our Southern Seven staff to move through our COVID-19 vaccine registry at a quicker pace,” said Nathan Ryder, who is the outreach coordinator for Southern Seven’s contact tracing team. 

“We will be hosting National Guard members who are trained in the different roles of patient registration, vaccination and post-vaccine observation.”

COVID-19 vaccines will continue to be administered by appointment only at one of the seven different mass vaccination locations spread throughout the region. 

Beginning this week, two mass vaccination locations are scheduled to operate each day, Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

One central mass vaccination site is scheduled to serve both Pope and Hardin counties once per week. 

Alexander County is scheduled to have two separate locations operating on different days of the week. 

Mass vaccination locations in Johnson, Massac and Union counties are scheduled to operate twice per week due to the larger populations in those counties.

Pulaski County’s vaccination site is scheduled to operate once per week.

Ryder said that as of last week, Southern Seven was still working in Phase 1B of the COVID-19 vaccination schedule. 

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

Examples of essential workers include the following:

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.)

Appointments will be scheduled utilizing the information submitted to the health department’s vaccine registry. 

Southern Seven Health Department invites anyone  in the seven area counties which it serves who is interested in getting a COVID-19 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 Southern Seven’s Facebook page and on its website at

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

However, some other providers may charge an administrative fee for the injection. 

For those who have health insurance, the vaccine provider will bill the insurance company for the administrative fee. Those who are uninsured will not be charged for the administrative fee.

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

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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