JACKSON COUNTY, Ill. (WSIL) — Workers at the Jackson County Health Department say the FDA’s approval of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is long overdue. Now they’re urging folks to do what they can to protect their communities. Health officials say that means getting the vaccine as soon as possible.

Paula Clark, the COVID Operations Chief at the health department, says there was a sense of excitement after over the decision. Since the announcement, Clark noticed more people coming into the health department asking for a vaccine. She feels the decision has brought some relief to unvaccinated people still considering getting a shot.

Clark says she’s confident that all three COVID vaccines are safe to use given the low number of breakthrough cases.

“I think it just comes down to a personal choice if somebody feels a little more comfortable having one that’s now had full approval,” Clark said.

On Tuesday the department held a meeting to discuss the details of the rollout, scheduled to begin September 20, Clark says. Now that there’s an FDA-approved vaccine, Clark feels there needs to be more faith in vaccines because of advances in medical science and the number of hours that go into the research.

“[We should have] more faith in research that was completed in 2020 and 2021 than those of some of the same vaccines we’re getting that were the 1800s, 1920s, 1960s,” Clark said. “We all have a lot of vaccine in us.”

Clark says the department has plenty of vaccines to distribute, including Pfizer, Moderna and the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine. People can come to the department Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. for its vaccine clinic. The department holds the clinics from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Tuesdays.

Coronavirus Resources

  • Are you fully vaccinated? Click here for guidance from the CDC.
  • Click here for the latest information from the Illinois Department of Public Health.
  • Looking for local information on the COVID-19 vaccine? Click here.
  • Click here for News 3 WSIL’s latest coronavirus coverage.

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