coronavirus vaccine

Chicago COVID Vaccine Eligibility Enters Phase 1C: Here's What You Need to Know

Residents already eligible under Phases 1A and 1B will also remain eligible in 1C

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Chicago entered Phase 1C of its COVID vaccine rollout on Monday, expanding eligibility to residents with underlying health conditions and more essential workers.

The expansion allows for workers in a variety of fields to be vaccinated, including restaurant employees, hotel workers, hairdressers, clergy members, construction workers, delivery drivers and warehouse workers, among others.

Here's a breakdown of who is and isn't eligible under Phase 1C in Chicago:

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


Workers supporting the energy sector, including those involved in energy manufacturing, distribution, repair


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 


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


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


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

Those already eligible under Phases 1A and 1B will also remain eligible in 1C.

Phase 2, which incudes all Chicagoans age 16 and older, was initially slated to begin May 29 following Phase 1C, Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady previously said.

However, she announced that eligibility will likely expand to all adults by May 1, depending on the vaccine supply that the city receives.

Eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine will expand to all Illinois residents over the age of 16 outside of Chicago in April, Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced earlier this month, after President Joe Biden said he would direct states to make all adults in the U.S. eligible for the vaccine by May 1.

The state is also expanding COVID-19 vaccine access to another group of essential workers Monday.

Chicago receives its supply of vaccine from the federal government allocated separately from the state and thus operates on its own framework and timetable.

Arwady previously noted that most Chicago residents eligible for the coronavirus vaccine in Phase 1C will be able to schedule appointments in April or May.

"I know a lot of people are anxious to be vaccinated and I also know that April is probably going to feel frustrating for some of them... and into May," Arwady said. "I do think that we will be at a point that is going to start feeling more like a typical flu vaccine."

The pace at which the vaccine can be administered will primarily depend on how quickly Chicago can receive shipments from the federal government, Arwady explained, which could determine when most people in Phase 1C will be vaccinated.

Arwady emphasized that eligibility at city-run vaccination sites will be limited to only Chicago residents.

Health officials last week warned of a concerning rise in metrics in Chicago after the city's daily case rate went up by nearly 50% in the past week, with six days of increases in test positivity.

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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