coronavirus illinois

Illinois COVID Vaccine Eligibility Expands to More Essential Workers Monday

All Illinois residents over the age of 16 will be eligible for the COVID vaccine starting April 12, Gov. J.B. Pritzker previously said

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Illinois will expand COVID-19 vaccine access to another group of essential workers Monday, as the state inches closer to meeting President Joe Biden's goal of opening up eligibility to all resident by May 1.

Food and beverage workers, construction trade workers and religious leaders will be eligible, according to guidance from the Illinois Department of Public Health.

On Monday, March 22, the state expanded eligibility to include higher education staff, government workers and media.

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

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

On Friday, IDPH authorized counties seeing low vaccine demand to to begin vaccinating all residents 16 and older at their 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, health officials said, and the COVID-19 test positivity was 3.3% as of Friday - up from 2.5% on March 10.

Chicago, which similarly reported an alarming rise in COVID metrics, will open up vaccinations to residents with underlying health conditions and an additional group of essential workers Monday.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker previously announced that all Illinois residents over the age of 16 will be eligible for the COVID vaccine starting 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 previously said he felt "confident" in vaccine supply moving forward and that he believed the state could advance ahead of that deadline.

Illinois entered what's called 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.

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

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