Over one year after the COVID-19 pandemic first arrived in the United States, vaccines are being rolled out across the country. Here’s the latest on where things stand in Illinois and the Chicago area:

Where to get vaccinated

Officials say most will likely receive their doses through their medical provider or pharmacy, although local health departments are also operating their own vaccination clinics.

Starting Thursday March 4, Chicago’s United Center will become a mass vaccination site. Appointments will start with seniors, age 65 and over, then all Illinoisans eligible under the state’s Phase 1B+ will be able to schedule appointments starting on Sunday, March 7 at 4 p.m.

A limited number of vaccines will be given at the site earlier than previously announced, starting Tuesday, March 9. A full opening begins on March 10.

  • To register online, visit Zocdoc.com/vaccine
  • To register by phone, call (312) 746-4835 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. Given the anticipated high demand for appointments, residents who can use the web site should book their appointments online.

If you are currently eligible to receive a vaccine (more on that below), you can visit this map of vaccination locations put together by the State of Illinois, enter your information and find links to sites near you that are administering vaccines.

Chicagoans can visit zocdoc.com/vaccine, where they’ll confirm their location and eligibility.

Participating pharmacies have their own websites where you can try to set up an appointment as well, including: HyVee | Jewel-Osco | Mariano’s | Walgreens | Walmart

Who qualifies

The two COVID-19 vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer which received emergency authorization are being administered in “Phases” established by the State of Illinois. Each Phase dictates who will be given a vaccine.

Officials have said the active phases will likely overlap and they will not wait for “1A” to be fully completed before vaccinating people from “1B,” and so on. Illinois is currently in Phases 1B, 1C and 2

While some require two shots, vaccines are free to anyone who receives one. Currently, more than 3 million people in Illinois qualify for the vaccine under these groups:

Current Phases: 1B, 1C (Suburban Cook County and City of Chicago and 2 (Remainder of Illinois)

Phase 1A: Frontline healthcare workers, long-term care facility residents and staff
Estimated 850,000 people
Complete List

Phase 1B: Anyone over 65 years old and designated “frontline essential workers,” including first responders, teachers, manufacturers, corrections workers and inmates, USPS, transit, grocery store and shelter / day care workers,
Estimated 1.9 million over age of 65, 1.3 million frontline workers
Complete List

Next Phases: 2 (For Suburban Cook County and City of Chicago)

Suburban Cook County: April 12

City of Chicago: April 19

Phase 1C: Anyone age 16–64 with high-risk medical conditions; other essential workers
Phase 2: Anyone else 16 years of age or older

Last updated April 9, 2021

When will Illinois “reopen” for good?

As more and more people are vaccinated, especially those from high-risk populations, experts say the number of new infections and deaths from COVID-19 will begin to decline.

However, Governor Pritzker has said that the state likely won’t move on to “Phase 5” of being fully reopened until the population achieves “herd immunity” where 60%-80% of people have been vaccinated.