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'I signed up right away' | 11,000 Madison County residents fill out vaccine distribution survey in first 24 hours

Completing the survey doesn't secure residents a place in line, but it helps health officials make more informed decisions about vaccine rollout

MADISON COUNTY, Ill. — Madison County health officials said they've been constantly fielding questions from the public, and they focus mainly on one subject: coronavirus vaccine rollout.

"'When is it going to be my turn?' 'When can I get?' 'How will I know?' etc., etc.," county health director Toni Corona said. "So we really hope that this survey kind of at least expresses to the general public that we hear you, we know this, and we are absolutely planning for it."

Corona said the Madison County health department received more than 11,000 submissions in less than 24 hours after posting a questionnaire online for residents who want to get the vaccine.

The short questionnaire will help health officials determine a residents' eligibility, asking yes/no questions about county residency status, if a resident is over 65 or has contributing health risks.

"I signed up right away," Heather Mueller-Jones said.

A county board member and creator of The Maryville Connection Facebook group, Mueller-Jones said she was getting a lot of questions about the survey with some people concerned it might be a phishing scam. But the brief questionnaire is real, and she hopes it brings some peace of mind to people who are looking forward to receiving the vaccine.

"You know, everyone was thankful that I gave them information, and I think the really the hard thing about COVID is no one really knows what's going on with the vaccine [rollout process]," Mueller-Jones said.

Completing the survey doesn't secure residents a place in line, but it helps Corona and the department make more informed decisions about the rollout. Plus, Corona said, the contact information provided could help them let you know when you're up for the shot.

"We're a county of over 263,000 people, so obviously this is no small effort to plan for — and be able to distribute — the COVID-19 vaccine as it becomes available," Corona said.

Starting Thursday, Jan. 14, the City of Collinsville’s Gateway Convention Center will be the location of Madison County’s Health Department’s vaccine distribution. Vaccines are being distributed according to the phase distribution plan outlined by the Illinois Department of Public Health.

“We are pleased to partner with the Madison County Department of Health to offer this important vaccine to City and County residents,” Collinsville City Manager Mitchell Bair said.

For more information, contact the Madison County Health Department at 618-692-8954.

Contact reporter Sara Machi on Facebook and Twitter.