RICHLAND COUNTY, Ill. (WTHI) - Vaccinations began at Olney city park at 11 am sharp. While in line at the community shelter you were likely to see a Chicago White Sox hat instead of the typical Cubs or Cardinals. A Chicago fire department shirt also would give away that something was different Thursday.
Chicago resident Jessica Cobb says, "They recommended this location as the place to get the Johnson and Johnson shot but also the soonest it was available. There was a lot of places but I thought it was great just to drive down. It was a really nice drive so I thought it was worth it."
Cobb drove four hours with her mom from northern Chicago to Olney. She wasn't alone. Many other folks from cook county came to Richland County to get vaccinated.
Richland County health nurse Micah Drummond says, "I feel like we're in a better place in offering vaccines to the residents of not only Richland County but now we can open up to anyone who lives or works in Illinois."
Seventeen percent of residents in Richland County have been vaccinated. The demand for the vaccine from local residents has slowed. That means helping those in the windy city is just a matter of getting them in town.
Drummond says, "We are going to continue to do weekly vaccination clinics. We will be able to offer all three vaccines at various times."
Thursday health officials planned to give out 300 shots. About half of those went to residents of Richland County.
Olney resident Ken Hake says, "I'll be glad when we can get back and go to sporting events and see people in the community and get together rather than just stay at home."
The rest went to those making the long haul to get the quick shot.
Cobb says, "I'll tell you they were the nicest people inside. It just felt like a celebration. So I'm really happy."