Half of all adults in Chicago have received at least the first dose of the COVID vaccine, the city said Monday, the same day eligibility opened to all residents ages 16 and older.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot's office said in announcing the milestone that about four times as many Chicagoans have now received a first dose of the vaccine as have ever been diagnosed with COVID-19.
More than a million Chicagoans have gotten the vaccine and another nearly 350,000 non-Chicago residents have been vaccinated in the city since vaccinations began in December, officials said, noting that that figure is roughly the number of regular vaccines that the city would administer over three years.
Illinois health officials on Monday said that 53% of the state's residents over the age of 18 and 50% of those 16 and older had received at least one dose of the vaccine.
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Chicago opened COVID vaccine eligibility to all residents ages 16 and older Monday, one week after the rest of Illinois.
Chicago residents can look for vaccine appointments at zocdoc.com/vaccine, though anyone under 18 must have a parent or guardian book on their behalf. Appointments for the city-run mass vaccination sites (which remain open only to individuals 18 and up) can be booked using Zocdoc or by calling the City’s COVID-19 Help Line at (312) 746-4835, with priority given to people who live in certain vulnerable and under vaccinated ZIP codes at sites like the United Center and Chicago State University.
Residents can also use the city's Vaccine Finder to identify additional vaccine providers, the city said, encouraging those searching to check back regularly.
City officials said Costco Pharmacies, CVS, Jewel Osco, Mariano’s, and Walgreens also offer vaccinations and their own scheduling, encouraging residents to contact those companies and locations directly about appointments.
Another avenue for vaccinations is primary care physicians, according to the city, noting that more than 350 hospitals, health clinics, medical practices, pharmacies and other providers receive vaccine from the city for distribution to patients and Chicago residents.
“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,” Lightfoot said in a statement Sunday.
“I encourage everyone to get vaccinated, and everyone who wants a vaccine will receive one, but I want to remind people to be patient in getting an appointment, since our vaccine supply is still very limited," she added.
Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said she hoped vaccine supply from the federal government would continue to increase as the city expands.
“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.
Chicago officials noted Sunday that the city received less than 70,000 first doses of the two-shot vaccines in the last week, 97% of which were distributed providers and 90% administered within a week.
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.
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 and 1C.
Chicago officials had previously estimated that the city would enter Phase 2 on May 31. But President Joe Biden announced earlier this month that he was directed all states and jurisdictions - many of which had already expanded - to make all adults eligible for the vaccine by April 19.
For a complete look at where and how you can make an appointment in Illinois, click here.