Governor Pritzker held a press conference announcing that COVID-19 vaccine eligibility will expand to all people ages 16 and up beginning Monday, April 12
The announcement brings news related to next steps related to vaccines and reopening the state of Illinois in the coming months
Editor’s Note: This is a developing story.
The announcement was made by Governor Pritzker on Thursday during a press conference detailing some news related to fighting COVID-19 in Illinois. Beginning on Monday, April 12, all Illinois residents ages 16 and up will become eligible to schedule and receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Appointments will still be required, of course, but with vaccine availability increasing every single week, they will become easier to find as time goes on.
Specific populations will be announced as eligible between now and April 12 ahead of the population-wide expansion. Out of the three vaccines available to us today, the Pfizer vaccine is the only one approved for 16 and 17 year olds at this time. Vaccines are administered by appointment only in Illinois, and residents who require assistance in securing an appointment can call the IDPH hotline at 833-621-1284 to make their appointment.
Residents who are not currently eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine cannot schedule their appointment ahead of time and were urged to be patient as we approach April 12 and in the weeks to follow.
Note: the Champaign-Urbana Public Health Department is currently taking appointments for those 16 and up with underlying health conditions, along with essential frontline workers. Residents must live or work in Champaign County to receive a vaccine through CUPHD.
Currently, vaccines are available through pharmacies including Walgreens and CVS; Carle; and clinics announced weekly by CUPHD. More pop-up clinics are also expected in the weeks ahead.
Vaccination data in the population of Illinois is essential to the next phase of rolling back regulations related to COVID-19 in the state. A “Bridge Phase” between Phase 4 (our current phase) and Phase 5 (described as “post-pandemic normalcy”) was also announced during Thursday’s press conference.
To advance into the Bridge Phase, the entire state must reach a 70% first dose vaccination rate for residents 65 and over and hold steady on other key metrics (hospitalizations, deaths, and cases) over a 28-day monitoring period. Today, 58% of residents 65 and over have received at least their first COVID vaccine.
To advance to Phase 5, the state must reach a 50% vaccination rate for residents age 16 and over and meet the same metrics and rates required to enter the transition phase, over an additional 28-day period. Today, that number is 28%. Details on what Phase 5 looks like can be found by clicking here.
The press conference was filled with optimism and looking ahead to the future. “Step by step, we can get out of this the same we came into it – together,” stated the Governor.