The number of area residents who are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine just grew, and that has many with underlying conditions very excited.

The state of Illinois just expanded the Phase 1B vaccination group to include those with disabilities, cancer, diabetes and other conditions that make us more likely to have severe symptoms or even die. The group expansion will also allow for those under 65 to be added to the list. Because of my health challenges, I will now qualify for the vaccine, and I intend to get that first dose the moment I'm able.

This list of qualifying conditions is subject to change as guidance evolves and does not reflect an order of priority, according to MyStateline.com:

  • Cancer
  • Chronic Kidney Disease
  • COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)
  • Diabetes
  • Heart Condition
  • Immunocompromised State from a Solid Organ Transplant
  • Obesity
  • Pregnancy
  • Pulmonary Disease
  • Sickle Cell Disease

We have quite a hill to climb to overcome this virus and get back to our pre-pandemic lives. Herd immunity is the goal. I'm sure you've heard that expression.

Herd immunity occurs when enough people become immune to a disease to make its spread unlikely. As a result, the entire community is protected, even those who are not themselves immune. Herd immunity is usually achieved through vaccination, but it can also occur through natural infection.

Pretty plain and simple; you either get COVID or you get the vaccine, that's the only way we get bay to the life I'm sure we all miss. Not to mention the older members of our families who we haven't hugged for a very long time.

Regular Steve Shannon Show guest, Dr. Bill Renk (SwedishAmerican), was on the phone to update us on the day before he got his second covid vaccine shot. Dr. Renk hit on topics that included:

  • His one and only vaccination side-effect thus far
  • What age group tends to have more side-efects
  • Warning for those who have a history of severe allergic reactions
  • The biggest component of the COVID-19 vaccine has been around since the early 2000s

Steve Shannon is host of The Steve Shannon Show on 97ZOK. On the air weekday mornings from 6 to 10 a.m. and a special 'Rewind' show, featuring favorite moments from previous shows, on Saturday mornings from 5 to 7 a.m.. Follow him on Twitter, Instagram, and like his page on Facebook.