coronavirus vaccine

Phase 1C in Illinois? Pritzker Says Vaccine Eligibility Will Expand, But Gives No Timeline

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When might Illinois expand vaccine eligibility to Phase 1C of its rollout?

Gov. J.B. Pritzker said while he anticipates opening up vaccine eligibility - particularly in the months ahead to meet President Joe Biden's deadline of having all adults eligible by May 1 - the exact timing of Illinois' expansion isn't clear.

"No announcements yet about what 1C would look like, I just think that people should start to think very much about you know the fact that we're going to open this up to everybody relatively sooner than I think people expected," Pritzker said during the interview Monday. "Certainly by May 1 and we'll do it sooner than that I believe in the state of Illinois."

Currently Illinois is under what it calls Phase 1B Plus, which expanded its Phase 1B to include those with certain underlying health conditions. Phase 1B also included frontline essential workers and residents age 65 and older, as well as health care workers and long-term care facility staff and residents who were eligible under Phase 1A of the state's rollout.

Chicago health officials say the city could enter the next phase of its vaccine rollout by the end of the month. The city has so far chosen not to enter Phase 1B Plus of vaccinations alongside the state, citing a lack of doses.

Chicago health officials previously announced that the city had targeted an estimated start date for Phase 1C to begin on March 29.

Though no announcement on eligibility has so far been made, Phase 1C would likely expand vaccine eligibility to all other essential workers not already eligible.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Phase 1C includes:

  • People aged 65—74 years because they are at high risk of hospitalization, illness, and death from COVID-19. People aged 65—74 years who are also residents of long-term care facilities should be offered vaccination in Phase 1a.
  • People aged 16—64 years with underlying medical conditions which increase the risk of serious, life-threatening complications from COVID-19.
  • Other essential workers, such as people who work in transportation and logistics, food service, housing construction and finance, information technology, communications, energy, law, media, public safety, and public health.

The CDC notes, however, that Phase 1B and Phase 1C can overlap in some cases, such as underlying medical conditions.

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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