CHICAGO — Illinois Governor JB Pritzker announced the state will progress into the initial stages of Phase 1B of the COVID-19 vaccine administration plan on Monday, January 25, following substantial progress in Phase 1A of the plan.
Over 3.2 million Illinoisans are eligible for vaccination under Phase 1B. The state plans to have eligible residents receive a vaccine at a Illinois National Guard-assisted site, or at a site operated by a local health department or partner pharmacy.
“We’re really happy to have them here to push this out,” Medical Director of North Riverside Health Center Dan Vittum said.
The Cook County Health Department has organized six sites throughout the county where the National Guard will assist in vaccination.
Pritzker added that there are 3.2 million people who are eligible to receive shots in Phase 1B, but the state is expecting to receive just 126,000 doses from the federal government next week, meaning less than 4 percent of those eligible will be able to get a shot.
“Vaccine supply is limited all across the nation. There are additional vaccines in the pipeline that may soon see FDA approval and that would help,” Pritzker said.
The state anticipates a rapid growth in capacity by the end of next week with partner pharmacies across the state expected to go online, including Walgreens, CVS, Jewel-Osco, Mariano’s and HyVee. State health officials expect the partners to provide hundreds of sites in every region of the state.
Currently, the sites are available by appointment only. Public health officials hope to launch walk-in locations as the federal supply of vaccines increases and as the state receives more vaccines.
Additionally, members of state and federal agencies who could assist in the vaccine administration effort, including the Illinois National Guard and Illinois State Police will be vaccinated at McCormick Place in Chicago and the Illinois State Police Academy in Springfield. Those sites are not open to the public at this time.