City Rolls Out COVID-19 Vaccine Plan: All Chicagoans Won’t Be Eligible Until May 31

Dr. Marina Del Rios receives the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by city officials on Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020 at The Loretto Hospital. (WTTW News)Dr. Marina Del Rios receives the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by city officials on Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020 at The Loretto Hospital. (WTTW News)

The city of Chicago’s tentative vaccine distribution plan estimates that there will not be enough COVID-19 vaccine available for all Chicagoans ages 16 and older until May 31, the city’s top doctor announced Monday.

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That timeline depends on how much vaccine Chicago gets from the federal government and how quickly it’s received, said Dr. Allison Arwady, the commissioner of the city’s Department of Public Health.

Chicago — along with the rest of Illinois — will start the second phase of the vaccination rollout Monday, when officials expect efforts to inoculate all 850,000 health care workers and long-term care facility residents in Illinois from COVID-19 will be substantially complete.

Next in line for doses of the coveted vaccine are Illinois residents ages 65 and older, those who live in group homes and are incarcerated as well as front-line essential workers, officials said.

There are 1.3 million essential workers in Illinois, including police officers, grocery store workers, transit workers, teachers and child care providers. Another 1.9 million Illinois residents are 65 or older, according to data provided by the state.

The second phase of the vaccination effort is likely to take all of February and March, Arwady said.

(Courtesy City of Chicago)(Courtesy City of Chicago)

The city is getting approximately 32,000 doses per week — but both Arwady and Mayor Lori Lightfoot have called on the federal government to ramp up the city’s supply.

Once the second phase of the vaccination effort is complete, expected by March 29, all essential workers as well as Chicagoans age 16 and older with underlying health issues will be eligible to get vaccinated, according to the city’s plan.

The final phase of the effort would start May 31, Arwady said.

Children younger than 16 will not be eligible for the vaccine until federal officials determine whether it is safe for them, Arwady said.

In all, Illinois has received 1,085,950 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, and approximately 46% have been administered, according to data provided by the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Contact Heather Cherone: @HeatherCherone | (773) 569-1863 | [email protected]


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