Some Metro-East COVID-19 restrictions lifted as concerns grow over lagging vaccinations

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Edwardsville, IL – Some COVID-19 restrictions were lifted in the Metro-East last week, but the slow pace of vaccinations drew criticism of Madison County’s Republican  leadership.

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) announced on Thursday, Feb. 4, that Region 4 residents, including St. Clair, Madison, Monroe, Randolph, Clinton, Washington and Bond counties, could again dine in local restaurants and bars, with some limitations.

Madison County Democratic Party Chairman Randy Harris, a Laborers official, issued a statement noting how the county is lagging behind the rest of the state in vaccinating its residents under the leadership of County Board Chairman Kurt Prenzler, a Republican.

“The vaccination numbers in Madison County are appalling,” Harris said. “The Prenzler administration and the Republican-led Madison County Board owe the residents some answers.”

NEAR THE BOTTOM
Harris cited IDPH data showing Madison County ranks near the bottom in per capita and daily average vaccines administered even while having one of the largest reported stockpiles of vaccine, with over 12,000 doses.

“While counties of similar size and demographic makeup like Champaign, Sangamon, and Peoria are administering twice as many people per day, our Madison County Republican leaders are sitting on over 12,000 vaccines. This is completely unacceptable,” said Harris. “Prenzler and his administration continue to fail the taxpayers, denying basic services, putting people in further danger, while rewarding campaign workers, donors, and his supporters with taxpayer-funded jobs, and the Republican-led County Board is allowing it to continue.”

According to the IDPH website, as of Jan. 31, Madison County had made complete vaccinations of 3,621 residents, or 1.37 percent of its total, and its supply was listed at 12,592 doses.

St. Clair County had completed vaccinations of 3,501 residents, or 1.34 percent, with 8,928 doses on hand. Monroe County was typical of many rural counties, with 440 vaccinated, or 1.57 percent, and 2,913 doses on hand.


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