While the COVID-19 vaccine isn't currently widely available across Illinois, Walgreens is encouraging those who are eligible to search and sign up for appointments at its more than 500 vaccination sites across the state.
Currently, vaccinations in Illinois, including at Walgreens locations, are available by appointment only.
More than 3.2 million residents are eligible for vaccinations under the state's Phase 1B, which includes people age 65 years and older as well as "frontline essential workers."
Beginning on Feb. 25, Illinois will expand eligibility and open up vaccinations to people with "a high-risk medical condition" or comorbidity. The list includes those with cancer, diabetes, obesity, women who are pregnant, and those with several other conditions.
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During "Vaccinated State," an hour-long NBC 5 special in which COVID-19 experts answered questions and addressed concerns Thursday, a Walgreens senior vice president explained how the company's online signup process works.
"It will actually look around the geography where you put in and tell you what is available and when," said Rick Gates, senior vice president of pharmacy and healthcare. "Vaccine availability is really the driver right now, and I think everybody is wanting to understand when we’re going to have more."
While Gates said residents can visit their local Walgreens and talk with their pharmacist to learn about availability, he believes it's easier to use the company's app or website.
The Deerfield-based company has taken several steps to expand its vaccination efforts in Ilinois and more than a dozen other states throughout the country.
On Feb. 2, Walgreens announced that under a new Federal Retail Pharmacy Program, its Illinois locations will receive 39,300 additional doses of the COVID-19 vaccine each week.
For more information on how those eligible in Phase 1B can get an appointment through Walgreens click here. Note: those who schedule an appointment will need:
- An appointment confirmation email
- A COVID-19 Vaccination Authorization Form with your registration code (if applicable)
- State ID, valid driver’s license or other government-issued ID
- Work ID or other document to show proof of employment (for healthcare workers, frontline and essential workers only)
- Medical and/or pharmacy benefit insurance card
- Download, print and complete the vaccination consent form. If you don’t bring the completed form, you will need to complete it at the pharmacy before your vaccination.