Chicago will open COVID-19 vaccine appointments to all residents age 16 and older Monday, one week after Illinois moved to the next phase of eligibility.
The shift to Phase 2 eligibility comes as the city announces that more than 1 million residents have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine.
“Opening vaccine eligibility to all adults in Chicago is another important milestone in our goal of vaccinating everyone, and moving past the pandemic to reopen our city safely,” Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said.
Lightfoot reminded that vaccine supply continues to remain limited throughout the city, encouraging people to remain patient.
Feeling out of the loop? We'll catch you up on the Chicago news you need to know. Sign up for the weekly Chicago Catch-Up newsletter here.
Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said she hopes vaccine supply from the federal government will continue to increase in order to vaccinate the reason for an uptick in COVID cases across the city.
“I am encouraged by our increased vaccination rates, but we also continue to see a slow and persistent increase in COVID-19 case counts, especially among younger Chicagoans,” Arwady said. “As we expand eligibility, we can increase vaccination for younger populations to slow the spread of the virus.
Last week, Illinois opened vaccinations to all adults over age 16 at state-supported mass vaccination sites, local health departments and pharmacy partners, expanding eligibility across all jurisdictions statewide except Chicago.
Chicago receives its supply of vaccine from the federal government allocated separately from the state. As such, the city operates on its own framework and timetable.
Chicago entered Phase 1C of COVID vaccinations on March 29, which expanded eligibility from health care workers, seniors and some frontline workers in Phases 1A and 1B to include all remaining essential workers like restaurant staff, bartenders, hair stylists and more, along with residents who have qualifying underlying health conditions.
When Pritzker announced Illinois would open eligibility to all adults on April 12, Lightfoot said the city would not expand along with the rest of the state, citing low supply.
"While we are hopeful that we can expand eligibility to include all residents relatively soon, the ability to do so will depend on vaccine supply," a spokeswoman for Lightfoot said in a statement on March 18. "We have established a comprehensive and efficient vaccine distribution system and will be ready when vaccine supply increases, and if that happens sooner than expected it's possible we could adjust our timeline."
In the meantime, Chicago residents were encouraged to receive vaccine doses from state-supported mass vaccination sites in the suburbs, if not already eligible in Phases 1A, 1B, 1B Plus and 1C.
Chicago officials had previously estimated that the city would enter Phase 2, which opens eligibility to all Chicagoans age 16 and older, on May 31, though that timeline would have put the city behind both the state and Biden's deadline.
For a complete look at where and how you can make an appointment in Illinois or where you can receive vaccine information for your area, click here.