How hard have you found it to get a COVID-19 vaccination? What Chicagoans told us.
Frustratingly so was the consensus, even for people in their 70s and 80s. “Appointments are never available.” But a few said it was surprisingly easy to get a coronavirus shot.
Illinois’ phased plan to distribute available coronavirus vaccines began in December. On Monday, a day before the city unveiled a new website to help schedule appointments, we asked readers who are eligible for the vaccine how difficult they’ve found it to get the shots. Some answers have been condensed and lightly edited for clarity.
“I have tried every day to sign up my age-eligible mother for a first dose appointment. Walgreens, Cook County sites, CVS, Jewel-Osco — nothing. Appointments are never available.” — Lisa Scruggs
“I was easily able to sign my parents up for the first dose with Walgreens two weeks ago, but I’m finding it nearly impossible to get them scheduled for the second dose.” — Jamie Gordon
“There are zero available appointments. All procedures are handled online, making it very difficult for elderly who are not as tech-savvy.” — Gina Jo Klauba
“Tried all the websites that were in your paper, and not a one is up and running. Have been registered with Lake County Health Department, and no appointments available. I am 72, and that is the age group that should be getting them now, and I can’t even get one from my doctor. Frustrating!” — Grace Winograd
“I’ve tried every website available for my husband and myself, and there are never any appointments available. We are seniors and in 1B, but so far we can’t get in anywhere.. frustrating!” — Woody Anderson Hibbeler
“Not even bothering until later in the year. Under 65, no underlying conditions, not a ‘frontline’ or ‘essential’ worker. There’s no way I get it before summer.” — Jeremy Phillips
My parents are in the correct age bracket and health designation but all the vaccines seem to be going to Cook county so since they live in DuPage, they can’t get one.— Shannon V (@Shanonian323) February 1, 2021
“It’s extremely time-consuming to find an appointment. Have to go to the health department website, then check each provider’s website, then click through each day on their calendar. Or call each one that doesn’t have online scheduling. I’ll make the time work — just show me whatever slot you have available.” — Adam Lang
“Am an essential worker. Wasn’t hard at all for me. I actually wasn’t looking to get the vaccine. Then, my clinic emailed me, letting patients know they had vaccines. I called them Friday, and I get my first dose tomorrow.” — Celia Barrios
“So far yes. My 87-year-old mother and I became eligible last week — I’m 65. I had registered us both with the Cook County website, but there were no appointments available. I spoke with our doctor today, and he is not sure when his office will be receiving the vaccine. We will continue to check as many sites as possible until we can make an appointment.” — Denise Washington
“We are signed up but haven’t been able to get an appointment yet. I know many that have gotten first dose and some their second.” — Cheryl Wittorp Debner
“On the Cook County wait list for more than two weeks. I have never been contacted. Tried Walgreens, Osco, Walmart and my primary physician. I’m told no one has the vaccine. I keep hearing of younger people getting the vaccine. I’m 66, in group 1B. Where do we turn?” — Gayle Svane
“I’ve been trying to get my octogenarian parents, who also have several health issues, appointments since 1B opened. I have been setting my alarm clock every one or two hours overnight, hoping I can find an opening for them. They do not have smartphones, and all my mom knows how to do on her iPad is to play games and look at pictures on Facebook. It has been extremely frustrating.” — Sue Unz