Gurnee library director offers to help encourage COVID-19 vaccinations
As Lake County's COVID-19 vaccination effort continues to ramp up, the executive director of the Warren-Newport Public Library in Gurnee said library officials will do their part to convince people to get vaccinated.
Ryan Livergood said he knows there are many people against or unsure about getting vaccinated and, with everyone more isolated during the pandemic, there are fewer opportunities to change their minds.
"It's going to take a pretty tremendous effort to get information out there and I feel libraries can play a key role in connecting community groups," Livergood said. "I think what this is going to take is a strong coalition of organizations ... trusted places in the community to get the word out."
Illinois will begin vaccinating people 65 and older and essential workers on Monday, but there is no set date on when that phase will begin in Lake County. The first round of vaccinations was aimed at health care workers and long-term care facility residents. In the coming weeks and months, additional people will be able to receive the vaccine but might not if they have concerns.
The library's efforts to address those concerns are still in the early stages. Livergood said so far the library has shared vaccination information from the Lake County Health Department on its website and social media accounts and a member of the Health Department will soon be a guest on the library's monthly web series "WNPL Library Connections," available at youtube.com/user/WarrenNewportPL.
Livergood said he has reached out to the Health Department to offer additional help.
"It's going to take so many people to step forward to do it. Local businesses, organizations, nonprofits, it's going to take us all to get the word out there," Livergood said. "We've got to get those voices out there to get people over their reservations."
The Lake County Health Department is encouraging county residents to register themselves on AllVax, located online at allvax.lakecohealth.org. Once vaccinations are available, residents who've registered will be notified about scheduling an appointment.
"We've got to get there," Livergood said, referring to a time when the world has moved on from the pandemic. "Failure is not an option."