Illinois to expand vaccine eligibility to all adults next week
All Illinoisans over the age of 16 will be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine next week. Illinois will now join many other states who have now made all adults eligible to receive the vaccine. Gov. J.B. Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) announced the change at a press conference on Thursday..
Pritzker also announced that Cook county, which includes Chicago, and the collar counties surrounding it, will receive a quarter million vaccine doses in order to help the struggling county keep pace with the rest of the state.
The governor said in his press conference:
“Weeks ago, we set our sights on April 12 as the date for every county receiving vaccine from the state to open to full eligibility, and I’m so proud that all 101 counties and Suburban Cook have met that timeline.”
Many counties in Illinois are ahead of the rest of the state, meaning any adult has been eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine for some time now. On Monday, nearly the entire state will enter the final phase of eligibility. Cook county will join the others later.
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Cook county has lagged behind the rest of the state’s vaccine rollout for months. When the state entered Phase 1B in February, the county stayed in the initial phase. The large population of the county relative to the rest of the state and the lack of needed health infrastructure in some areas has left them behind.
Nearly a fifth of Illinois residents have been fully vaccinated. More than 6.8 million of the 8.9 million doses of the vaccine the state has been allocated since the vaccine rollout began in December have been administered in the state.