Editor’s Note: This story was updated March 31.
CHICAGO — Coronavirus vaccinations are now open to most people in Chicago.
Chicago is now in Phase 1C of vaccinations, during which an estimated 84 percent of adult residents of the city are eligible to get their shots, said Dr. Allison Arwady, head of the Chicago Department of Public Health. But supply of doses is still limited, which means appointments can still be hard to come by.
Here’s how you can try to get vaccinated:
Who’s Eligible For Vaccinations
Eligibility varies depending on location.
In general, Chicago is in Phase 1C of its vaccination campaign. Here’s who eligible during this phase:
- Clergy and religious organization workers
- Energy workers
- Finance workers
- Food and beverage service workers
- Higher education staff and faculty
- Information technology and communications workers
- Legal workers
- Other community- or government-based operations and essential functions
- Personal care services and hygiene (like hairdressers, barbers, etc.)
- Public health
- Public safety
- Shelter and housing
- Transportation and logistics
- Water and wastewater
- Chicagoans age 16 and older with these underlying health conditions:
- Cancer (current diagnosis)
- Cardiac, cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disorders (including heart disease, coronary artery disease, and hypertension or high blood pressure)
- Chronic kidney disease
- Chronic respiratory disorders (including cystic fibrosis, moderate to severe asthma, pulmonary fibrosis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease/emphysema, known as COPD)
- Diabetes (Type 1 and 2)
- Disability: physical, developmental, visual, hearing or mental
- Neurologic conditions (including dementia)
- Down Syndrome
- Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) including from blood or bone marrow transplant, immune deficiencies, HIV, use of corticosteroids or use of other immune weakening medicines
- Liver disease (including hepatitis)
- Schizophrenia spectrum disorders
- Sickle Cell Disease
- People eligible during Phases 1A and 1B remain eligible, including everyone who is 65 or older and frontline workers.
Cook County is also in Phase 1C of vaccinations.
Illinois is in Phase 1B+ of its vaccination campaign, meaning it is also vaccinating people with underlying conditions.
Qualifying conditions for Illinois:
- Chronic kidney disease.
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, known as COPD.
- Heart conditions.
- Immunocompromised state from a solid organ transplant.
- Pulmonary diseases.
- Sickle cell disease.
How To Get Vaccinated
The city’s health department says you should first contact your primary care provider or a health clinic or hospital where you’ve received care in the past. You can check their website or contact them for information on vaccinations and setting up an appointment if they’re vaccinating people.
The city has also instructed hospitals and other providers to directly contact existing patients who are eligible for vaccines and offer them appointments. Providers are supposed to first offer appointments people most at risk — namely, patients who are oldest and have underlying medical conditions.
Select pharmacies are offering COVID-19 vaccinations to eligible people, though appointment slots fill up quick.
Here’s where you can try to make an appointment online:
Note: CVS is not offering vaccinations to the general public at its pharmacies in Illinois.
Various vaccine hunting groups have sprung up on social media to help people find an appointment. The Chicago Vaccine Hunters group on Facebook is widely used.
The ILVaccine website also searches providers to show you if any appointments are open near you.
The city’s health department will work with large employers to offer vaccinations through their workplaces.
People who will be vaccinated through their workplace do not need to take action, according to the city health department.
Zocdoc lists publicly available appointments from the city’s vaccinations sites, as well as from local organizations like AMITA Health, Erie Family Health and Innovative Express Care
Not all vaccine providers in Chicago are listing their open appointments on the scheduling tool. But more providers are expected to join, according to the city.
People can sign up online for open appointments through Zocdoc. The tool will check if you are eligible to be vaccinated. If you are, it will show nearby vaccination locations and open appointments. People can then make an appointment.
Mass Vaccination Sites
- The city’s mass vaccination sites are not open to the public for appointments.
- Cook County does have vaccination sites that are accepting appointments so long as you are eligible under Phase 1B+ and you live and/or work in Cook County. Appointments fill up fast. You can register with the county here or call 833-308-1988 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Friday to make an appointment and/or to get updates.
People who are homebound for various reasons can sign up online to get vaccinated against coronavirus at their home. Their caregivers will also be vaccinated under the program. The program is expected to take several months to complete.
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Where To Get Vaccinated
Chicago’s health department has a map of some vaccine providers in and around the city:
When Will I Be Eligible?
Here’s the city’s tentative timeline:
- Phase 1A: Continuing. Covers health care workers and people living and working in long-term care facilities.
- Phase 1B: Continuing. Covers Chicagoans 65 and older and frontline essential workers.
- Phase 1C: Continuing. Covers other essential workers and people ages 16-64 with underlying medical conditions that put them at risk for severe cases of COVID-19.
- Phase 2: Expected to begin May 31. Covers all Chicagoans 16 and older.
Everyone 16 and older who lives in Illinois outside of Chicago will be eligible come April 12.
Children will likely not be vaccinated until the summer or later, Arwady has said.
How To Get Updates
You can sign up with Chi COVID Coach to get updates from the city’s health department on its vaccination campaign.
You can check the health department’s website for information.
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