UNION COUNTY, IL — The Southern Seven Health Department announced the Illinois National Guard has arrived in the S7 region to help with mass COVID-19 vaccination centers beginning on Wednesday. 

The National Guard teams will help S7HD nursing staff by providing support personnel and additional vaccine administrators at each location.

“This infusion of extra personnel from the Illinois National Guard will allow our Southern Seven staff to move through our COVID-19 vaccine registry at a quicker pace,” said Nathan Ryder, Outreach Coordinator for Southern Seven’s Contact Tracing Team. “We will be hosting National Guard members who are trained in the different roles of patient registration, vaccination, and post-vaccine observation.”

COVID-19 vaccines will continue to be administered by appointment only at one of the seven different mass vaccination sites spread throughout the region.

Starting next week, two mass vaccination locations will operate each day, Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.

One central mass vaccination sites will serve both Pope and Hardin Counties once per week.

Alexander County will have two separate locations operating on different days of the week. And vaccination sites in Johnson, Massac, and Union Counties will each operate twice a week due to the larger populations there. 

Pulaski County's vaccination site will only operate once per week.

S7HD says it's still working in Phase 1B of the state's COVID-19 vaccination plan. Phase 1 has a limited amount of COVID-19 vaccines and health leaders anticipate the state will stay in Phase 1 until the end of spring.

Phase 1B of the vaccination plan includes people 65-years of age and older along with essential workers, including:

  • First responders (Firefighters, Police, EMS, etc.)
  • Teachers (including support staff and daycare)
  • Food & Agriculture
  • Public transit workers
  • Grocery store employees
  • Transportation & logistics
  • Utilities (energy, IT & communication, water, wastewater, etc.)

Appointments will be scheduled using the information submitted to the health department's vaccine registry. You can add your name to the registry by visiting the health department's website,

The COVID-19 vaccine is administered for free. However, some providers may charge an administrative fee for the injection. If you have health insurance, the health department says the vaccine provider will bill your insurance company for the administrative fee. If you are uninsured, the health department says you will not be charged for the administrative fee.

S7HD covers Alexander, Hardin, Johnson, Massac, Pope, Pulaski, and Union counties.

For questions regarding COVID-19, contact Southern Seven Health Department at 618-634-2297 or visit them on Facebook and online at