Illinois has been following a phased plan to distribute available COVID-19 vaccine doses since the first vaccine was approved on Dec. 11. So far, the FDA has approved the vaccine developed by Pfizer-BioNTech, and the one developed by Moderna.
The state moved into phase 1b of its distribution plan on Jan. 25, meaning that adults over age 65 and some additional categories of essential workers are able to make vaccine appointments. Available information on making appointments can be found below.
Illinois’ plan contains two phases, which are broken down into sub-phases based on supply and who is eligible for a shot. Phase 1, when there remains a limited supply of doses available, contains sub-phases 1a, 1b, and 1c.
Phase 1b, which the state is currently in, expands eligibility to residents over the age of 65, along with essential workers such as firefighters, grocery store workers, teachers and inmates.
Phase 1c will extend eligibility to people between the ages of 16 and 64 with high-risk health conditions. It also includes additional categories of essential workers.
Once supply increases sufficiently, vaccination will open up to the remaining population of Illinois over the age of 16. Use of COVID-19 vaccines in young children has not yet been approved.
An outline of the state’s plan, with detailed explanations of who might be eligible in each stage of phase 1, is available here.
Public health departments in Chicago and its collar counties have released varying degrees of surveys and registration tools. For information on each of these tools, see the links for each county below.
All vaccinations will be handled through appointments either through a doctor or other health care provider, a pharmacy or an employer. City-designated sites for mass vaccinations are currently booked up to provide shots to health care workers. City officials said they will eventually open for appointments for others who are eligible. More information is available at covidcoach.chicago.gov/.
The city lists several pharmacies where members of eligible groups can sign up to get the vaccine (as of Monday, some were scheduling appointments, while some said they would be soon):
• Walgreens at walgreens.com/findcare/vaccination/covid-19
• Jewel-Osco at mhealthappointments.com/covidappt
• Walmart at walmart.com/cp/1228302
• and Mariano’s at marianos.com/i/coronavirus-update/vaccine
Additionally, the city vaccination plan relies on primary care providers such as hospitals and clinics. Many large hospital systems in the city suggest signing up for a MyChart account in order to receive updates about vaccinations and schedule electronically when eligible. A link to MyChart can be found here. Locate your healthcare provider and follow the instructions to sign up.
Starting on Jan. 25, the Cook County Department of Public Health opened up vaccinations to people over the age of 65 and some categories of essential workers. A list of those eligible for the vaccine in Cook County can be found here.
If you are eligible in Cook County, you can schedule an appointment by either calling 833-308-1988, from Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., or by visiting vaccine.cookcountyil.gov.
The DuPage County Health Department is following the state’s phased vaccination guidelines. While the first phase has been limited to essential workers, seniors and high risk individuals, officials expect vaccinations to open up more broadly in phase 2 when there is a greater supply.
If you are an essential worker, over 65 years of age or under 65 but have a high risk medical condition, the DuPage County Health Department asks that you fill out this survey to receive weekly updates on when a vaccine appointment will be available. Please note that this does not count as signing up for or scheduling a vaccination appointment.
Kane County residents can fill out a survey to be provided with updates and information on when vaccines will be available to them. The survey is not limited to healthcare providers or other essential workers.
All Lake County residents can use the county’s online registration system to be notified when the COVID-19 vaccine is available to them.
The county released their AllVax portal, which differs from the surveys that other counties are offering. The Lake County system allows residents to enter their information, and if they are eligible for a vaccine they will be immediately able to schedule an appointment. Otherwise, they will be notified when they become eligible.
Lake County says it has already had over 175,000 residents register via their portal, or about 25% of the county’s population.
McHenry County’s vaccine survey is only for healthcare providers living and working McHenry County. The form does not count as registration for a vaccine, and only signals interest in more information when it is available.
If you are an essential worker but not a healthcare provider, over the age of 65, or have a high risk medical condition, McHenry County has a separate survey to fill out. This survey also signifies interest in the vaccine but is not a registration form.
Finally, if you are a McHenry County resident but do not fall into either of the categories above, the health department has a different form that you can fill out to receive updates on the vaccine and notification when it is available to you. That form can be found here, about halfway down the page.
The Will County Health Department is also adhering to the state’s phased vaccination approach, but they explicitly say that any Will County residents should fill out this survey.
Once someone qualifies to be vaccinated, based on the phased plan, Will County Health will contact those who have filled out the survey to schedule an appointment.
“Please be patient, we will contact you when it is your turn,” the department says on its website.
Chicago-area veterans who meet eligibility requirements can now get the coronavirus vaccine at local Veterans Affairs hospitals.
Edward Hines, Jr. VA hospital in suburban Maywood is offering coronavirus vaccines to veterans over the age of 65, or those who have existing medical conditions that put them more at risk. Veterans must be Hines-enrolled patients.
To see the criteria for receiving a vaccine from Hines, click here. If you meet the criteria, call Hines VA at 708-202-2707 or 708-202-7000 to schedule your vaccine appointment.
Jesse Brown VA Medical Center in Chicago is also offering coronavirus vaccines to veterans 65 and older, or those in high-risk health categories. Patients at Jesse Brown who meet this criteria can call 312-569-5801 to schedule an appointment.
Veterans served by Lovell Federal Health Center in Lake County are eligible to be vaccinated if they are 75 years or older, or if they are chemotherapy, dialysis or transplant patients. Lovell will call patients who meet the criteria to schedule vaccine appointments.