Southern Seven Health Department received its first shipment of COVID-19 vaccines on Dec. 16. The department has started a vaccine registry for anyone in its region who is interested in getting the vaccine.

Southern Seven Health Department is inviting anyone in the southern seven counties — Alexander, Hardin, Johnson, Massac, Pope, Pulaski and Union — 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 its website at The sign-up form can also be visited directly with the following link:

“We have started to see a sizable increase in the amount of calls coming into the health department with people wondering when they might be able to get a COVID-19 vaccine,” said Nathan Ryder, outreach coordinator for Southern Seven’s Contact Tracing program. “We have elderly folks who are concerned they might get skipped when it comes time for them to get a vaccine. We also have a lot of people who may not have access to the internet or traditional news media.

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

Currently, COVID-19 vaccinations are being provided to frontline healthcare workers and residents of long-term care facilities under Phase 1A of the CDC’s COVID-19 Vaccination Program. 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 January.

For questions regarding COVID-19, contact Southern Seven at 618-634-2297 or on Facebook or online at

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