Kane County closes COVID-19 mass vaccination site in Batavia


Kane County, the last collar county to operate a mass COVID-19 vaccination site, has closed the doors at its Batavia vaccination hub after administering 114,433 doses of the coronavirus vaccine.

Michael Isaacson, executive director of the Kane County Health Department, said they’ve moved out of the former Sam’s Club warehouse after opening the doors on the vaccination hub there in March 2021.

“We are monitoring the uptake on vaccines and looking at where in the community we need to give a special push,” Isaacson said, adding that with the closure of the vaccination hub they will instead host smaller clinics, like at libraries, in communities where vaccination rates are lower. “We want to go where we think we’ll get the best participation.”

The Batavia site gave the largest number of shots in Illinois outside of Cook County, according to health department data.

In February, several Kane County Board members signaled it might be time to close the site and instead use hospitals, pharmacies and pop-up clinics for vaccinations. While many other health departments closed their mass vaccination sites months ago, Isaacson said the Kane County site continued to stay open to administer vaccines once younger children were eligible for the shots, and most recently to help with giving the bivalent booster shot.

In Kane County, around 72.9% of residents 5 years and older – a total of 364,032 people – received two doses of the vaccine. Around 198,000 received their first booster dose and around 50,000 received a bivalent booster dose.

“We are seeing some interest (in the bivalent booster), but way more people who are eligible still haven’t received it,” Isaacson said. “Even though cases have been going down, we are still seeing people die from COVID and in many cases, that is preventable. We’d like to see a lot more people get that booster.”

Kane County remains in low transmission levels of COVID-19 with around 75 cases per 100,000 population as of Wednesday.

Isaacson said the health department will also put a large focus on promoting flu shots this fall as signs of increased flu activity were seen in the Southern Hemisphere this summer.

The health department will offer COVID-19 and flu vaccines by appointment at its Aurora office at 1240 N. Highland Ave., and residents can call 855-452-6382 for an appointment.

mejones@chicagotribune.com



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