CHICAGO — Chicagoans who want to get vaccinated against coronavirus can now try to find appointments from across the city through an online scheduling tool.
The city is partnering with Zocdoc to create a more centralized platform where people can schedule vaccination appointments when they’re available, Dr. Allison Arwady, head of the Chicago Department of Public Health, said Tuesday. You can use the Zocdoc tool by clicking here.
Until now, Chicagoans eligible for vaccinations during Phase 1B have been told to call their primary doctor or hospital, to try to nab an appointment at local pharmacies or to see if they could get vaccinated through their workplace. That’s caused headaches for many people, who have scrambled to find out where they can get vaccinated — and then had to fight others to get appointments during the short periods they’re available before filling up.
Appointments will still be hard to get, as demand for vaccine doses remains high while the city’s only receiving a limited amount from the federal government. And the city’s still urging people to try to get appointments through their primary care provider, their employer or a pharmacy.
But the city hopes the Zocdoc scheduler can be a free, less confusing resource for Chicagoans who might otherwise struggle to find and make an appointment.
Zocdoc will list open appointments from the city’s vaccinations sites, as well as from local organizations like AMITA Health, Erie Family Health and Innovative Express Care, among others. That will create “a central marketplace to help Chicagoans access vaccinations,” according to a city news release.
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. You can view other sites where you can sign up to get vaccinated here.
People will be able to sign up online for the 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.
Appointments will be limited, and there will be times when people check Zocdoc and there are no appointments available, said Richard Fine, Zocdoc’s vice president of strategy. But people can give Zocdoc their email and the scheduler will contact them when appointments do open up.
The scheduler is free to users, and Zodoc is not charging the city and won’t sell people’s data, Fine said.
People currently eligible for vaccinations in Chicago:
- Chicagoans age 65 and older, with special priority given to people 75 and older and people 65 and older with underlying medical conditions.
- Frontline essential workers:
- Correctional workers.
- First responders.
- Grocery store workers.
- People working in manufacturing/factory settings with outbreaks.
- Day care, K-12 and early education workers.
- Public transit workers.
- Other manufacturing workers.
- Agriculture workers.
- Continuity of government and postal workers.
- People from Phase 1A, including health care workers.
Vaccine providers in and around the city:
Block Club Chicago’s coronavirus coverage is free for all readers. Block Club is an independent, 501(c)(3), journalist-run newsroom.
Subscribe to Block Club Chicago. Every dime we make funds reporting from Chicago’s neighborhoods.