Suburban Cook County expands COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to anyone 16 and over


CHICAGO Eligibility for a COVID-19 vaccine appointment opened up to all individuals ages 16 and up on Monday in suburban Cook County, with the City of Chicago slated to follow on April 19.

The move comes as Illinois has seen a significant rise in vaccinations as well as a steady, sustained rise in new COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations.

State health officials currently report that 22 percent of the state’s population is fully vaccinated, a number experts hope to see dramatically increase in the coming weeks as more contagious variants continue to spread in the U.S.

Max Cohnegan, 17, couldn’t be more excited to get his first vaccine shot Monday.

Mass vaccination sites in the city are preparing for the opening of eligibility to all individuals ages 16 and up beginning next week, although those receiving their vaccine at a mass vaccination site in Chicago must be at least 18 years old.

“Because it meant I could go back to doing the things I love, like visiting amusement parks and Great Wolf Lodge and traveling,” he said.

Illinois health officials have reported more than 130,000 vaccines administered in each of the last five days, a rate that is expected to increase as eligibility expands in the state’s most populous region.

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