coronavirus illinois

When Can You Get the COVID Vaccine in Illinois? Here's a Breakdown

While Illinois is expanding its eligibility guidelines, Chicago is on its own plan

NBCUniversal Media, LLC

When can you get the COVID vaccine in Illinois? The answer is: it depends.

While Illinois is expanding its eligibility guidelines, Chicago is on its own plan.

Eligibility will expand to all residents over the age of 16 outside of Chicago in April, Gov. J.B. Pritzker has announced. But some people are already eligible or will become eligible before then.

To sign up for a vaccine appointment in Illinois, click here

Much of the state is currently under Phase 1B Plus guidelines, though Chicago remains in Phase 1B after city officials chose not to expand along with the rest of Illinois. The city and state operate on separate timetables.

On Monday, Illinois extended eligibility to some essential workers who were not previously qualified for the vaccine ahead of the state's expansion to all adults. More still will become eligible on March 29.

Also on March 29, Chicago will move into Phase 1C, opening up vaccinations to more essential workers and Chicago residents with certain qualifying health conditions.

Here's a look at who is eligible to get the vaccine now and who will become eligible in the coming weeks:

Eligible now in Chicago and Illinois

  • Health care workers
  • Long-term care facility staff and residents
  • Residents age 65 and over
  • Frontline essential workers, which means "residents who carry a higher risk of COVID-19 exposure because of their work duties, often because they are unable to work from home, and/or they must work closely to others without being able to socially distance. This includes:
    • First responders: Fire, law enforcement, 911 workers, security personnel, school officers
    • Education: Teachers, principals, student support, student aids, day care worker
    • Food and agriculture: Processing, plants, veterinary health, livestock services, animal care
    • Manufacturing: Industrial production of good for distribution to retail, wholesale or other manufactures
    • Corrections workers and inmates: Jail officers, juvenile facility staff, workers providing in-person support, inmatesU
    • USPS workers
    • Public transit workers: Flight crew, bus drivers, train conductors, taxi drivers, para-transit drivers, in-person support, ride sharing services
    • Grocery store workers: Baggers, cashiers, stockers, pickup, customer service
    • Shelters and day care staff: Homeless shelter, women’s shelter, adult day/drop-in program, sheltered workshop, psycho-social rehab

Eligible now in Illinois but not Chicago

  • Residents with the following high-risk medical conditions:
    • Cancer, chronic kidney disease, COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), diabetes, heart condition, immunocompromised state from a solid organ transplant, smoking, obesity, pregnancy, pulmonary disease, Sickle Cell Disease
  • Higher education staff
  • Government workers
  • Media

Eligible March 29 in all of Illinois (also included in Chicago's expansion the same day)

  • Restaurant staff
  • Construction trade workers
  • Religious leaders

Eligible March 29 in Chicago

  • Residents with the following underlying medical conditions:
    • Cancer (current diagnosis), Cardiac, cardiovascular, and cerebrovascular disorders (including heart disease, coronary artery disease, and hypertension or high blood pressure), Chronic Kidney Disease, Chronic respiratory disorders (including cystic fibrosis, moderate to severe asthma, pulmonary fibrosis, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease/emphysema [COPD]), Diabetes (Type 1 and Type 2), Disability: physical, developmental, visual, hearing, or mental, Neurologic conditions (including dementia), Down Syndrome, Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) including from blood or bone marrow transplant, immune deficiencies, HIV, use of corticosteroids, or use of other immune weakening medicines, Liver disease (including hepatitis), Pregnancy, Obesity: BMI ≥30 kg/m2, Schizophrenia spectrum disorders, Sickle Cell Disease, Thalassemia, persons with disabilities
  • Clergy and religious organizations: People 65 years of age and older; where possible, prioritizing Chicagoans 75 years and older and Chicagoans age 65-74 with underlying medical conditions
  • Energy: Workers supporting the energy sector, including those involved in energy manufacturing, distribution, repair
  • Finance: Banks; currency exchanges; consumer lending; credit unions; appraisers; title companies; financial markets; financial institutions; institutions that sell financial services; accounting services, and insurance services 
  • Food and beverage service: Restaurant and other facilities that prepare and serve food (including bars); entities that provide food services
  • Higher education: Workers in educational institutions – including junior colleges, four-year colleges, and universities, technical schools, trade schools, educational support services, and administration of education programs
  • Information technology and communications: Internet, video and telecommunications systems, consumer electronics repair, computer and office machine repair 
  • Legal: Workers providing legal services or supporting the operations of the judicial system, including judges, lawyers, paralegals, legal assistants, process servers, couriers, bail bond agents, parole officers, probation offices, court personnel, and others providing legal assistance or performing legal functions
  • Media: Newspapers, periodicals, television, radio, and other media services, news dealers and newsstands, broadcasting, news syndicates, printing, and book publishers. Other community- or government-based operations and essential functions. Other governmental employees; community based essential functions (e.g. urban planning, offices that provide basic needs such as food, childcare, shelter, and social services); workers in libraries
  • Personal care services and hygiene: Businesses that provide personal care services, such as hair, nails, and non-medical massage. Laundromats, dry cleaners, industrial laundry services, and laundry service providers
  • Public health: Public health entities; pharmaceutical, medical device and equipment, and biotechnology companies
  • Public safety: Workers that ensure public safety systems function properly, including building inspectors, civil engineers, chemical engineers, aerospace engineers and hazardous materials responders. Workers who construct and maintain roads, highways, railroads, and ports. Cybersecurity operations workers
  • Retail: Workers in retail stores including but not limited to stores that sell alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, medication not requiring a medical prescription, other non-grocery products (e.g. electronics, optical goods, books, etc.), other household consumer products, wholesalers, licensed cannabis dispensaries and cultivation centers
  • Shelter and housing: Hardware stores and businesses; construction and maintenance of buildings, real estate; hotel and motel workers
  • Transportation and logistics: Workers at gas stations; auto and bike supply and repair; businesses that supply shipping and delivery services; couriers; warehouses; private mail; Airline workers not included in 1b; workers in rail, water, truck, charter bus transportation or transportation rental
  • Water and wastewater: Workers involved in wastewater treatment and operations; sanitary and storm maintenance crews performing emergency and essential maintenance of systems

Eligible April 12 in Illinois but not in Chicago

  • All residents over the age of 16

All vaccinations will remain by appointment only, officials said, noting that "making an appointment to receive a shot may take time."

Pritzker's office also noted that residents who are not currently eligible to receive the vaccine cannot yet schedule an appointment for a future date, asking for patience in the days and weeks after April 12 as appointments "may be limited."

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.

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