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People With Underlying Conditions Can Get Vaccinated Starting Feb. 25 As Illinois Expands Eligibility

The change won't apply to Chicago's vaccination campaign, since that is separate from the state's. But people who work outside the city are eligible for the state's vaccination program.

A syringe is filled with the COVID-19 vaccine at UChicago Medicine.
UChicago Medicine
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CHICAGO — The state is expanding who is eligible for coronavirus vaccinations to include people with underlying conditions and disabilities starting Feb. 25.

The change won’t apply to Chicago’s vaccination campaign, since that is separate from the state’s. But people who work in Illinois outside the city are eligible for the state’s vaccination program.

The state is making the move because it’s been getting an increased supply of vaccine doses from the federal government, Gov. JB Pritzker said in a news release. Previously, only health care workers, frontline workers and people 65 and older were eligible for Phase 1B vaccinations. People with underlying conditions were going to have to wait for Phase 1C to start before they’d be eligible.

Some local health departments will be able to vaccinate people with underlying conditions and disabilities even before Feb. 25 if they’ve already substantially completed vaccinating the other people eligible during Phase 1B, according to the Governor’s Office.

“As quickly as we receive enough vaccine supply, we need to waste no time in protecting a broader section of our most vulnerable population,” Gov. JB Pritzker said in a statement. “Those who are under 65 and live with comorbidities, such as cancer survivors or those living with heart disease, have an elevated risk of serious complications or death if they contract COVID-19.”

Only people 16 and older will be able to get vaccinated still.

Qualifying conditions:

  • Cancer
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, known as COPD
  • Diabetes
  • Heart condition
  • Immunocompromised state from a solid organ transplant
  • Obesity
  • Pregnancy
  • Pulmonary disease
  • Sickle cell disease

The state is administering an average of 55,455 vaccine doses per day as of Tuesday, based on a seven-day rolling average. So far, Illinois has administered at least 1,200,634 vaccine doses of the 1,638,125 provided to it.

More than 270,000 doses of vaccine have been administered to Chicagoans.

Another 216,522 vaccines have been administered in long-term care facilities, which have been provided with 496,100 doses. Those vaccinations are done through a federal partnership with pharmacy chains.

All together, at least 1,417,156 vaccine doses have been administered in Illinois.

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