Eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine will be expanded to all Illinois residents age 16 and older, except those in the city of Chicago, beginning April 12, Governor JB Pritzker announced Thursday.
Pritzker and Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike made the announcement during a COVID-19 update in which they also revealed a new framework for the state’s reopening plan.
All Illinois residents age 16 and older will be eligible to get vaccinated starting April 12, Pritzker said, adding that state officials will make more information available in the coming days on certain populations that will be eligible before that final expansion.
“On that date, all state-supported mass vaccination sites, local health departments, partner pharmacies – in short, every jurisdiction that receives the vaccine from the Illinois state allocation, will be instructed to move to an eligibility widespread, “the Pritzker office said in a statement.
All vaccines will be kept by appointment only, authorities said, noting that “making an appointment to receive a vaccine can take time.”
The Pritzker office also noted that residents who are currently ineligible to receive the vaccine cannot yet schedule an appointment for a future date, and ask for patience in the days and weeks after April 12, as appointments “may be limited “.
To see where and how you can make an appointment in Illinois or where you can get vaccine information for your area, click here.
That April 12 date is ahead of the timeline President Joe Biden set earlier this month, saying he would order states to make all adults eligible for the vaccine by May 1.
Pritzker said last week that he was “confident” in the advancement of vaccine supply and that he believed the state could move forward before that deadline.
Illinois entered what’s called Phase 1B Plus of its vaccine launch plan late last month, expanding eligibility to people with certain high-risk medical conditions and comorbidities. That is in addition to already eligible healthcare workers and long-term care facility staff and residents who qualified in Phase 1A, plus essential frontline workers, as well as residents 65 and older. that became eligible in the previous iteration of Phase 1B.
To see who is eligible to get vaccinated in Phase 1B Plus, click here.
But when the state entered Phase 1B Plus, several jurisdictions, including the city of Chicago, suburban Cook County, and several other counties in the area, announced that they would not expand eligibility along with the rest of Illinois, citing low supply. of vaccines.
Chicago officials announced Wednesday that the city will move to Phase 1C, which includes all remaining essential workers, as well as all adults with qualifying health conditions, as planned on March 29.
Because Chicago receives its vaccine supply from the federal government assigned separately from the state, the city operates on its own framework and schedule and will not extend eligibility to all adults with the rest of the state on April 12.
Illinois officials said Thursday that the state has administered more than 4.3 million doses of the available COVID-19 vaccines since vaccines began in December, averaging about 100,000 doses per day as the supply has increased.