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Local residents express excitement after new mass vaccination sites open

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CARBONDALE (WSIL) -- More mass vaccinations took place Friday in our region.

Governor JB Pritzker announced Wednesday more vaccines would be available to the public, serving those in Phase 1A and 1B. The Illinois National Guard has also been deployed to help with the process.

The goal is to administer at least 600 doses a day at the Civic Center and SIU Banterra Center.

News 3 spoke to some recipients who say they were excited about getting their first shot.

"It's great to have it in a local area that way everybody knows where to go and it's easy to get access and everything," said Energy resident, Dale Bowers.

One couple came together to get their shot and say they were impressed by how fast the procedure is.

"Yes, it seems very organized and we just breezed right through which is great. Our appointment wasn't until 12:30 and here it is 12:15 and we're already sitting down getting ready to leave. So it's great," said Campbell Hill resident, Jim Sickmeyer.

Right now, they are giving out the Pfizer vaccine and using Moderna for some of the 2nd doses.

The Jackson County Health department says they hope to continue working with the national guard for the next few weeks and Friday's events went well.

"It's been a long 11 months for all of us, especially those working in public health and we're glad to be at this point in the pandemic where we're able to vaccinate people and protect them against the virus and hopefully getting back to something closer to normal," said administrator Bart Hagston.

The Jackson County Health Department says there are more openings available for Saturday.

To sign up, click here.

Maya Skinner

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