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Eligibility for COVID-19 vaccines expands, but availability is questionable

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Phase-1b vaccines

(WSIL)---Thursday marks the first day of expanded eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine, what is referred to as 1B eligibility.

Anyone 16 years old or older with pre-existing conditions such as cancer, COPD, obesity, diabetes, or asthma, are eligible to schedule their appointment.

However, booking an appointment may take months.

For example, News 3 logged on this morning and found that for Franklin and Williamson County residents, appointments for the vaccine are booked until April.

But some residents in the area understand that with high demand, getting the vaccine can take time.

"People just want to get this as fast as they can. But I know everybody is trying as best they can to get this administered to everybody as quickly as they can," said resident Donald Wright.

Wright is 39 and cannot receive the vaccine yet, but is looking forward to when he can make his appointment.

Rosa Hardin is a CNA who has already recieved both of her doses--but still thinks there could be a more efficient process for distributing the vaccine.

"I think them distributing it out is a little difficult. It's not efficient. I believe there's better ways to do it," said Hardin.

Still, Wright believes that expanding the amount of people is in everyone's best interest.

"I think everybody just wants to get back to some normal kind of life and I think this might be a step in the right direction," said Wright.

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Madeline Parker

Madeline Parker is a Multimedia Journalist at News 3 WSIL. Madeline joined the team in 2020 and graduated from Southern Illinois University Carbondale with a Bachelor’s in Electronic Journalism and a minor in Communication Studies.

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