coronavirus illinois

Illinois COVID Vaccine Eligibility Expands to More Essential Workers: Here's Who Now Qualifies

The state announced a new eligibility timeline for more essential workers earlier this month, with all adults outside of Chicago slated to become eligible in April

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More essential workers who were not previously eligible under Illinois' Phase 1B Plus guidelines now qualify for the COVID vaccine beginning Monday.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced earlier this month that Illinois will expand eligibility to residents in more lines of work as the state looks to open up vaccine access to all adults outside Chicago on April 12.

Food and beverage workers, construction trade workers and religious leaders are now all eligible for the vaccine starting Monday. Last week, higher education staff, government workers and media became eligible.

Here's a look at the full schedule of vaccine eligibility in Illinois:

DateEligible Groups
December 15, 2020Healthcare workers and long-term care facility staff and residents
January 25, 2021Frontline essential workers (including first responders, K-12 teachers and other public-facing industries) and residents age 65 and up
February 25, 2021Residents with high-risk conditions or disabilities, age 16 and up
March 22, 2021Higher education staff, government workers, and media
March 29, 2021Restaurant staff, construction trade workers, and religious leaders
April 12, 2021Any resident age 16 and up

Chicago also expanded eligibility Monday by moving to Phase 1C, which includes many of those same essential workers as well as now people with underlying health conditions. The city operates under its own framework and timetable because it receives its supply of vaccine from the federal government allocated separately from the state.

For a full look at who's eligible for the COVID vaccine in Chicago and Illinois, and when they become eligible, click here.

Pritzker previously announced that all Illinois residents over the age of 16 outside of Chicago will be eligible to get vaccinated beginning on April 12. All vaccinations will remain by appointment only, officials said, noting that "making an appointment to receive a shot may take time."

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.

That April 12 date is ahead of the timeline that President Joe Biden laid out earlier this month, saying he would direct states to make all adults eligible for the vaccine by May 1.

Pritzker said in announcing the expanded eligibility that he felt "confident" in vaccine supply moving forward and that he believed the state could advance ahead of that deadline.

On Friday, the state also authorized any counties seeing "low demand" for vaccinations to begin vaccinating all residents 16 and older at their immediate discretion in order to "address a concerning possible trend in increasing COVID hospitalizations and case rates."

Illinois has seen 10 days of increases in the seven-day rolling average for hospital admissions since March 8, IDPH said, and the COVID-19 test positivity was 3.3% as of Friday - up from 2.5% on March 10.

Illinois entered Phase 1B Plus of its vaccine rollout plan late last month, expanding eligibility to individuals with certain high-risk medical conditions and comorbidities. That's in addition to the already-eligible health care workers and long-term care facility staff and residents who qualified in Phase 1A, plus the frontline essential workers as well as residents age 65 and older who became eligible in the earlier iteration of Phase 1B.

The state remains in Phase 1B Plus of its vaccination rollout, and anyone who became eligible in that phase or earlier iterations - Phase 1A and Phase 1B - remains eligible to get vaccinated.

For a full look at who's eligible to get vaccinated in Phase 1B Plus, click here.

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