Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced an expansion of the state’s vaccine rollout plan, saying that residents will soon be able to set up vaccination appointments with their primary care physicians.
“The days of vaccine scarcity are over,” Pritzker said during a press conference Thursday. “Today, we are in a new phase of our Vaccine Administration Plan: of meeting people where they are and making sure they can get their shots in their doctor’s office.”
According to Pritzker, more than 1,000 physicians’ offices have already signed up to be part of the program, and the state is rolling out resources for more offices to do the same.
“We have the vaccine. All we need is the doctors,” Pritzker said. “This is about making it as easy as possible for those who have not yet gotten vaccinated to protect themselves from COVID-19.”
Pritzker says the state is seeking to make vaccine doses “easy and accessible” for the general public.
The new doctor’s office program will also include pediatric offices, as the state is anticipating the FDA to give emergency use authorization for Pfizer vaccines on individuals between the ages of 12 and 15 in the coming days.
According to the governor, more than 60% of adult residents in the state have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine. Among individuals 65 and older, that number jumps to 85%, according to Pritzker.
As a result, the state plans to move into a so-called “Bridge Phase” in its coronavirus reopening plan on May 14, and could move to Phase Five, which would mark a full reopening at full capacity for all businesses, as soon as June 11.