Vermilion County Health Department officials spent the afternoon Wednesday at the Fischer Theatre in downtown Danville getting ready for the start of today’s weekly vaccination clinics at theater.

The next vaccination clinics after today with full appointment schedules are on Feb. 18 and 25. About 600 people are expected to receive second doses or first doses through the clinics.

The clinics are a community effort with the health department, area nursing students, Pro Ambulance, Danville Police Department, Fischer Theatre volunteers and others helping with them, officials said.

About 30 people will get vaccinated at the clinic every 15 minutes as six nurses give the shots. Each vaccinated person must remain for 15-30 minutes after the shots are administered for observation time. Health department officials say parking around the Fischer shouldn’t be a problem throughout the clinic periods.

“We’ve got it down to a pretty good science,” Rome said.

On Tuesday evening, the health department reported that cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began last March had surpassed the 8,000 mark,

Health officials reporting 100 new cases — two residents in their 80s, seven in their 70s, 14 in their 60s, 14 in their 50s, 12 in their 40s, 18 in their 30s, six in their 20s, 17 teens, six grade-school-aged children, two pre-schoolers, and two toddlers. Those cases brought the total to 8,088.

The virus death toll for the county remains at 96. There are currently 16 county residents with COVID-19 hospitalized, and 311 active cases in the county.

Health officials reported that the Mobile COVID-19 Testing Team will return to the front parking lot of the health department on Friday.

Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker announced Wednesday that those under age 65 with underlying health conditions are now in Phase 1B for vaccinations.

In related COVID-19 news, after conducting direct outreach to enrolled veterans over age 75, VA Illiana Health Care System is now scheduling COVID-19 Moderna vaccination appointments for veterans who are 65 and older.

Veterans can call VAIHCS directly at (217) 554-4444 to schedule their appointment for the Danville main facility or the following community-based outpatient clinics: Bloomington, Decatur, Peoria or Springfield. A special community clinic at the Brookens Gymnasium in Urbana will also be conducted on Saturday. Only scheduled appointments will be accepted; no walk-in availability.

“We are committed to ensuring all veterans have access to the vaccine and are excited to be able to lower our age eligibility to 65. We look forward to expanding access further and are working hard to push the vaccines out to our enrolled veterans as quickly as we receive it,” said Zachary Sage, Associate Medical Center Director.

Veterans who are less than 65 years old and are interested in obtaining the vaccination can sign up for updates via the “Keep Me Informed Tool” located at www.va.gov/health-care/covid-19-vaccine/stay-informed.

Veterans who are not enrolled or do not currently receive care at VA can visit VA’s Eligibility web page to learn more.

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