The deadline to be vaccinated against COVID-19 before the Thanksgiving holiday, allowing more families to gather together this November, arrives this week.
Though Chicagoans will not be able to receive the two-shot Pfizer nor Moderna vaccines in time for Thanksgiving, the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine should provide protection from COVID if administered by Thursday.
Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady has given additional dates to receive the first and single vaccine doses in order to be fully vaccinated by Hanukkah, Christmas and Kwanzaa.
Here are the latest deadlines:
Hanukkah (Nov. 28)
- Oct. 17: First dose of Moderna
- Oct. 24: First dose of Pfizer
- Nov. 14: Single dose of Johnson & Johnson
Christmas (Dec. 25)
- Nov. 13: First dose of Moderna
- Nov. 20: First dose of Pfizer
- Dec. 11: Single dose of Johnson & Johnson
Kwanzaa (Dec. 26)
- Nov. 14: First dose of Moderna
- Nov. 21: First dose of Pfizer
- Dec. 12: Single dose of Johnson & Johnson
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker has said he's hopeful mask mandates will be lifted in time for the holidays, but urged caution as he said the state will rely on data for making that decision.
Speaking to reporters after delivering a COVID-19 update Tuesday encouraging booster shots for eligible Illinoisans, Pritzker said state health officials are "continuing again to watch the numbers" daily to "determine when the right time is," though he noted that the time is not now.
"I know pretty much every moment of every day you've wanted us to remove every single mitigation," he said. "Every question that you give is a question about removing mitigations. I want them to go away too, but we want to make sure that we're keeping people healthy and safe following the guidelines that doctors are offering for us. And so we'll continue to do that and obviously we want to remove the mitigations as we approach the holidays. These are, you know, that's an important marker for us."
Pritzker has said that continued declines in metrics would be required for the state to lift its mask mandate.
"We want to make sure these numbers keep going down. We'd like very much to head into, you know, we have three holidays coming up, but especially Thanksgiving and Christmas, where people spend extended amounts of time together, so we'd like very much to get to a place where we can remove certain mask mandates," he said.
Arwady agreed that mask mandates are likely here to stay for at least the coming weeks, though she urged even more caution heading into the holiday season.
"We remain in a substantial transmission standpoint from the CDC, and even if we continue to see progress at the rate we've been seeing it, I expect that would take probably at least another couple of weeks," Arwady told reporters. "My big question is what's happening between now and Thanksgiving, honestly."
Arwady said masking will remain even more important during the colder months.
"That's when we usually start to see respiratory viruses like flu really take off and we'll have a better sense," Arwady said. "My concern is I don't want to say hooray, let's take the mask off, two weeks later we have to put them back on."