Convocation Center to be used as vaccination site

Entrance+of+the+NIU+Convocation+Center%2C+1525+W.+Lincoln+Highway%2C+on+Sept.+2%2C+in+DeKalb.

Patrick Murphy | Northern Star

Entrance of the NIU Convocation Center, 1525 W. Lincoln Highway, on Sept. 2, in DeKalb.

Kierra Frazier, Managing Editor

DeKALB – NIU announced Thursday that the Convocation Center will be used as a COVID-19 vaccination clinic space for the future when vaccines need to be distributed swiftly. The DeKalb County Health Department used the center for the first time Thursday for its first, large-scale Phase 1A clinic, according to an email sent Thursday to NIU staff. 

In total, 566 people were vaccinated Thursday, said Melissa Edwards, health promotion and emergency preparedness coordinator at the DCHD.

NIU staff members who were eligible during Phase 1A were notified about the vaccine distribution at the Convocation Center. Phase 1A includes health care personnel and residents of long-term care facilities, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health website

It’s anticipated Phase 1A will take a few months to complete vaccination efforts, and the timeline will depend on the future vaccine allotment for the county. Once Illinois makes progress in Phase 1A and federal vaccine deliveries increase, Phase 1B will include frontline essential workers and residents age 65 and over. 

DeKalb County started to receive its first shipments of the COVID-19 vaccine Dec. 29. 

As part of the DeKalb County Health Department’s Emergency Operations Plan, NIU has collaborated for many years to support mass vaccination efforts, which includes providing use of the Convocation Center for vaccination clinic space.

As of Thursday, 2,739 vaccine doses have been administered in DeKalb County, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health vaccine data. This includes 486 residents who are fully vaccinated, which is 0.47% of the county population.

DeKalb County residents can also sign up for COVID-19 vaccine notifications, which will add residents to a distribution list and notify those who are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Notification will typically come via email.

This article was updated at 10:47 a.m. Jan. 15 to include how many people were vaccinated.