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
With more than 4 million Illinois residents now eligible for vaccines, 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.
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.
Supplies continue to be limited so health officials say it could take weeks for people in the latest eligible group known as “Phase 1B” to receive one.
Chicagoans can visit zocdoc.com/vaccine, where they’ll confirm their location and eligibility.
Vaccinations in Illinois
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 1A and 1B, although there’s no indication as to when 1C could begin.
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: 1A and 1B
Phase 1A: Frontline healthcare workers, long-term care facility residents and staff
Estimated 850,000 people
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
Next Phases: 1C and 2
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 January 26, 2020
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.