Starting Monday, residents age 65 years and older and "frontline essential workers" in Illinois and Chicago will be able to receive the COVID-19 vaccine under Phase 1B of the state's vaccination rollout.
Among those designated as "frontline essential workers" are first responders, education workers like teachers and support staff, childcare workers, grocery store employees and postal service workers.
The more than 3.2 million residents who are eligible for Phase 1B can be vaccinated at National Guard-led sites as well as CVS, Jewel Osco and Walgreens, according to Gov. J.B. Pritzker's office. Additionally, Hy-Vee, Mariano's and Kroger pharmacies also plan to provide vaccinations during the first week of Phase 1B.
All of the sites will initially require appointments, state officials said. As Illinois receives more vaccines, the state plans to launch walk-in locations and allocate vaccine doses to providers such as doctor's office and urgent care clinics.
At a news conference Friday, Pritzker warned residents that they likely won't be able to receive the vaccine as quickly as they got their flu shot.
"Because federal vaccine production was hampered by the failure of the previous administration to properly invoke the Defense Production Act, vaccine supply is limited all across the nation," he stated.
With reports of people waiting in line for several hours to be vaccinated, Dr. Ngozi Ezike, the director of Illinois' Department of Public Health, advised residents that it's not necessary to show up extremely early, since appointments are required.
"You don't have to queue up or be waiting in line for hours before your time," she said. "I think people will get to know that as we move forward. But I understand the excitement and the fervor around getting their vaccinations."
While prioritized in Phase 1A of the state's vaccination plan, health care workers who have yet to be vaccinated will be able to receive the vaccine in subsequent phases.
As of Friday afternoon, 616,677 vaccines coronavirus vaccines had been administered in Illinois, including 93,683 for long-term care facilities, according to IDPH.
Here's a full look at who will be included in Phase 1B:
- 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, inmates
- 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