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Local health officials urge workers sign up for the vaccine after many balk at the shot across the country

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ROCKFORD (WREX/AP) — The nation’s biggest immunization rollout in history is facing pushback from an unlikely source: healthcare workers who witnessed COVID-19′s devastation firsthand but are refusing shots in surprising numbers.

RELATED: Illinois announces new information for next COVID-19 vaccine distribution phase, lowers age from 75 to 65

It is happening in nursing homes and, to a lesser degree, in hospitals, according to the Associated Press. The AP says some employees are expressing what experts say are unfounded fears of side effects from vaccines that were developed at record speed.

Winnebago County Health Department is now urging all healthcare workers in our area to sign up to get the vaccine, and specifically hopes to reach out to healthcare workers not associated with the area's main health systems.

RELATED: How likely will COVID-19 mitigations be relaxed in Region 1 next week? We look at the numbers

Winnebago County is currently vaccinating those in Phase 1a which includes healthcare workers and those in long-term care. 

The county says they're working hard to complete Phase 1a so we can advance to Phase 1b as quickly as possible.

Healthcare workers who have not received their 1st dose of COVID-19 vaccine should make sure they are registered using the following guidance:

  • For those not affiliated with a healthcare system, register individually using the online COVID-19 Vaccine Registration tool by visiting
  • For those working in a health system, contact your administration for details on when you will be vaccinated
  • For those working in a long-term care facilities, contact your administration for details on when you will be vaccinated
  • For those working in a assisted living, residential treatment programs and other congregate care homes, contact your administration for details on when you will be vaccinated

The next phase, 1B, includes teachers and other essential workers. On Wednesday, the state announced more information for phase 1B, including lowering the required age from 75 to 65.

State officials say they're hopefully phase 1B can begin sometime in mid-January.

Coronavirus Resources

  • Click here for the latest CDC novel coronavirus resources and links.
  • Track the COVID-19 globally using this map tracker here.
  • Click here for the latest information from the Illinois Department of Public Health.
  • Need to get tested? Here's a list of mobile testing sites provided by the state.
  • Looking for more information on the COVID-19 vaccine? Click here.
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